After reading through columnist Paul Williams views on live export I was left considering where he got his facts from?
Comments such as this really got me a bit annoyed:
I query Mr Williams, on this statement. Firstly yes Public Opinion does have a terrific impact (as we have learned this year) but it would not be the only underpinning factor. Considering where Europe is located geographically in the world in comparison to the markets it supplies, when you compare that to Australia and our geographic locale you will discover the distance are a lot shorter for Australian exporters."Indeed, Europe is an interesting case. From exporting millions of live head a decade ago, the continental trade has slowed to a trickle, and will soon phase out altogether - all on the strength of changing public opinion"
Mr Williams then goes onto mention The Cormo Express debacle and the impact that it had on Australian politics and the impact that it hard in tarnishing Australia's reputation in the eyes of the world. Whilst this situation was regrettable and upsetting and highly disappointing to see. I would also mention that the Governments snap decision to ban live exports this year left livestock producers in somewhat of a similar situation. Producers running out of feed and unable to move livestock to other markets, were moving to considering shooting them to prevent suffering. If the Government were concerned about welfare in Indonesia, they should have been equally concerned about the ramifications that would have occurred as a result of this snap decision. Did they realise what this would do when they were making an election campaign out of it?"Given the grief this trade has caused both sides of politics - remember the 2003 debacle under John Howard when 57,000 live sheep were stranded in the Middle East on the Cormo Express? - one would think that, even for base political purposes, the major parties would seize every opportunity to extricate themselves from a practice that causes acute international embarrassment."
This leads into Mr Williams closing remarks where he maintains that it would be fine to see the cessation of an industry that contributes large amounts to the economy, though in his defence he has stated that there would be more jobs retained and profits by moving the processing operations on-shore. Had Mr Williams listened fully to the opposing parties rebuttal (from the ALP conference telecast which he has based this article on), he would have found that the feasibility for setting up a chilled meat processing division in Northern Australia is not viable due to the wet season that occurs every year. There is a reason why properties shut down or move to skeleton crews during this time as the rain inundation that occurs makes most means of travel (bar air services) unpassable."Opponents cited the usual arguments of the loss of a $1 billion industry and local jobs as their defence to keep a cruel status quo.
But neither has to be. First, when Australia exports live animals, we also surrender Australian slaughterhouse jobs (not to mention valuable DNA hard-won after years of controlled breeding).
Animals humanely stunned and slaughtered in Australia can be a jobs boon for the Northern Territory."
The other point Mr Williams makes in this article is that we are destroying sought after DNA bloodlines that have been hard fought for. The cattle Live Export trade in itself would not be sending genetically productive animals to sale and then onto meat markets. The animals that are commonly sourced for these markets are steers (castrated males = no genetic input to the herd) and animals that are deemed non-productive (eg: Spayed Heifers/Non-Pregnant Cows/Infertile Animals). Animals that are being exported overseas such as Dairy Cattle are not being sent for the meat industry they are sent for the purposes of genetic improvement in other herds overseas.
I understand everyone's right an opinion, but what I don't agree with is writing an opinion piece in a major Australian news paper without researching the points being made in it.
You Can read the full article by Paul Williams HERE