Aug 24, 2011
Today, WSPA presented Members of Parliament Kelvin Thomson, Janelle Saffin and Melissa Parke with a global photo petition against live animal export, at Parliament House in the Australian capital city of Canberra.
In accepting the petition, Kelvin Thomson MP said: “I find the animal welfare and economic arguments for a transition away from live export to chilled meat export compelling.”
Since WSPA launched its Humane Chain campaign, more than 170,000 supporters have taken action internationally, calling for an end to the live export trade. In the last month, more than 11,000 people have uploaded photos with arms outstretched to visually represent this call, forming a global ‘Humane Chain’.
In addition to the petition, Labor MPs also heard from a representative of major Australian processed meat exporter, V&V Walsh’s, about the negative impact of live export on rural jobs and economic growth, and how a transition to local processing for export could provide employment and stability across the Australian livestock industry supply chain.
Jessica Borg, Campaigns Manager at WSPA said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response from our supporters all around the world, horrified and surprised the Australian Government is condoning the cruelty inherent to live exports. In the last month alone, more than 11,000 people have joined our photo petition from more than 80 countries, including Egypt, Brazil, the USA, Great Britain, Italy and even Panama.”
Borg added: “The fallout from exposure of welfare abuses in the Australian live export industry has been reported in mainstream international media, and across our global animal welfare network. Leaving many asking why, as a developed country, Australia allows this double standard to continue.”
Peter Cody, plant manager at Australian processed meat exporter V&V Walsh’s, said: “There’s been a lot of talk in the media about financial and job losses if live export winds down. The irony is that live export is actually stifling growth and job opportunities in rural areas where we could be processing and value adding across the supply chain.”
“What’s been lost in the storm around live export recently is a practical and constructive debate about the alternatives. By transitioning to a chilled meat trade, we’ll actually keep more money in the Australian economy, create more jobs in rural communities and we’ll have a more sustainable and stable market option for producers,” added Cody.
“More than 170,000 of WSPA’s supporters and the Australian meat processing industry call on the Government to recognize the golden opportunity they have to make some meaningful progress in this ongoing catastrophe,” said Borg. “Shift Labor Party policy away from unquestioning support of live export and put a framework in place to replace live exports with a locally processed chilled meat export trade.”
For more information on this issue and to take action, go to http://www.global.humanechain.org.au/