Comment News (Armadale) - - Perth Children’s Hospital -

AF­TER all the ex­po­sure of what re­ally hap­pens on live ex­port ships, the myths sur­round­ing this ap­palling trade con­tinue to as­tound me.

A com­mon bleat is that "oh, it's just one iso­lated in­ci­dent". While I won't get into why even one "in­ci­dent" like this isn't ac­cept­able to a civilised na­tion, let me say to those peo­ple: no, ab­so­lutely it's not iso­lated.

The re­peated breaches are well doc­u­mented over many years. The live ex­port in­dus­try itself con­sid­ers 2 per cent mor­tal­ity 'ac­cept­able' (thou­sands of an­i­mals dy­ing per ship­ment) while ig­nor­ing the suf­fer­ing of a much more mas­sive num­ber who didn't ac­tu­ally ex­pire (but prob­a­bly wish they did). That's just white­wash­ing suf­fer­ing and nor­mal­is­ing an­i­mal cru­elty.

Another tired old re­frain I hear from peo­ple who don't think past their noses is "if we don't pro­vide the an­i­mals some other coun­try would". Tosh! Apart from the rep­u­ta­tional risk from re­peated in­ci­dents and reg­u­la­tory breaches, there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to per­pet­u­ate on­go­ing cru­elty when we can tran­si­tion to a chilled meat trade. It gives us bet­ter con­trol over our an­i­mals, is more prof­itable and keeps jobs in Australia.

Sup­ply your own an­i­mals - or bet­ter yet, get chilled Aus­tralian meat from the 70 per cent-plus of slaugh­ter­houses who are halal-ac­cred­ited.

With live ex­port con­sist­ing of just a small frac­tion of to­tal meat pro­duc­tion in Australia, it's time to stop. Let's help those in­volved tran­si­tion to a bet­ter way of do­ing things. JEHNI THOMAS-WURTH Kelm­scott

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