THE push to ban live exports intensified today as hundreds of people took part in simultaneous rallies around the country in a bid to stop the inhumane treatment of animals.
In Melbourne, miserable weather failed to deter protesters who gathered on the steps of Parliament House calling on federal MPs to act.
The rally took place only weeks after evidence emerged of Australian sheep being brutally slaughtered in Pakistan. This followed revelations last year about the cruelty inflicted on Australian cattle exported to the slaughterhouses of Indonesia.
RSPCA Victorian president Hugh Wirth told the crowd that such cases were just the tip of the iceberg.
“These cases are just the latest evidence of what happens when animals leave Australia,” he said.
“Australians have seen the gross reality of this trade — inhuman slaughter, animals left floating around in the middle of the ocean, and what can only be described as totally barbaric treatment of Australian animals. Enough is enough.”
But the Victorian Farmers Federation backed the $1billion live export trade, saying it was vital for the nation and many developing countries that lack the cold-chain distribution networks needed to store meat.
“As well as being important to the livelihoods of many Australian farming families, the live trade delivers meat to nations that would struggle to buy, store and distribute beef or mutton from Australia,” said VFF livestock president Ian Feldtmann.
Melbourne’s rally was one of several that took place around the country today. In Canberra, about 200 people gathered on the lawns of Parliament House, while about 300 attended a march in central Sydney.
Federal Labor MP Kelvin Thomson, Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt and Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White also addressed the Melbourne crowd.
Ms White urged protesters to send a clear message to their local MPs ahead of next year’s federal election: that the live export industry was “a stain on our soul” and ought to be stopped.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.