Live Export N/H

Discussion in 'News Items' started by charliebrown, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. charliebrown

    charliebrown New Member

    Hi everyone, just wondering what everyones thoughts are about live export in relation to PETA campaining for it to be banned. Does anyone agree or disagree with the way PETA are going about this?

    I dont know as much as i could do about this issue, i have been told what everyone else is being told by PETA, about the animals suffering etc, but i have also seen the other side of the story as i have several friends whos livelihoods depend on the live export industry.

    Although as i said i dont know enough to make any real comments on the situation, i was just wondering what everyone else thought.
  2. Belladonna

    Belladonna Well-known Member

    Charlie Brown,

    I work on a cattle station in the kimberley and the major market for our cattle is live export to indonesia and similar countries overseas. As you probably know there has been a considerable amount of debate and uproar over the whole concept for quite some time now, especially since PETA got their claws into the topic. While I have no objections to people trying to prevent cruelty to animals, some of these PETA mob and similar organisations have been spreading a fair bit of blatant propaganda. The majority of people involved in the live export business are extremely careful not to cause undue harm and suffering to the animals in their care. Think about it, why would they? It is their livelyhood we are talking about here. Why would they deliberately cause detriment to their own industry? That would simply be pointless. Unfortunately there are some dodgy buggers around who will abuse animals but they are the minority (thankfully) but you really cannot condemn an entire industry for the despicable acts of a select few low lifes. Many of the cattle producers in the top end of Australia rely heavily on the live export trade and to ban live export across the board would spell the end to a lot of people. On the whole, personnel involved in the live export trade go out of their way to make sure cruelty does NOT occur, unfortunately it is only the negative side which is ever portrayed.
    Cheers, Belladonna
  3. charliebrown

    charliebrown New Member

    I agree with you Belladonna. The people i have worked for are in the west Pilbara and they show great consideration and care when handling their animals, they try to get them in and out of the yards as quietly and quickly as possible during the mustering season to reduce any stress on the animals. I think PETA have implemented a very good marketing strategy that right now the companies and people involved in live export are having trouble matching.
  4. Jez

    Jez Gold Member

    Its simple economics really. For ten years when i lived on south tce in Fremantle there would be weekly rallies, protestors etc about the sheep ships - in case anyone has forgotten we live on an island.

    Ten years after leaving freo the argument continues. PETA worked an emotive campaign. The livestock export industry is an INDUSTRY - peoples livelyhoods from the cattle station owner to his workers to the stockfeed merchants to the truck drivers to the mechanics who service the trucks - on and on it goes. When I was at Muresk I did have the figures on the exact millions of dollars per year the live trade bought into our economy. Its a lot and would be a lot more now.

    Because we live on an island, albeit a big one, we NEED trade and tariff agreements and we need exports and we need Imports. I was lecturing when somehow we got onto debating this issue (Probably because someone asked what that smell permeating beaconsfield campus was - kiwi love boat in getting loaded) - someone said "It wouldnt be so cruel if we killed them here and sent prepackaged frozen meat" - the issue with live exports is the killing of stock in the manner designated by the end consumer - be it indonesia or the middle east. Killing and eating is killing and eating, whichever way you look at it.

    The ships have livestock officers on board. Stock are fed onboard. Every now and then a PETA spy will manage to get onboard undercover and photograph incidents. There will always be incidents. At what percentage of incidents per head of stock it becomes unacceptable is not my call.

    Heres the answer. Lets get every family around the world to have a half acre to have a cow, a couple of chickens, a pig and a sheep so they can have their own meat bred and slaughtered in their own preferred fashion. So now we need hmm..roughly 3 BILLION Acres. Now, whos going to give up half their backyard to let a family from sudan move in and whos going to give up half their backyard for a californian princess and her family to move in so she can slaughter her own cow? starting to sound a bit silly?

    Isnt half an acre a bit small for a cow, pig, sheep and 6 chooks? Yup so better make that hmm...two were needing 12 billion free acres...starting to sound even sillier?.

    Where are we going to get these acres from? ohh surely there must be room...desert regions? simple..irrigate them...with what? arctic regions? simple - put in oil fueled heating...snow melt did i hear you say?

    There are somethings that are bigger than all of us - there is an answer - but no one seems to like it.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  5. maxntaz

    maxntaz Well-known Member

    PETA can sometimes have alot to answer for:mad: , they get alot of famous people on board, telling them how "bad" live export is, and mulsing etc, funny how when the likes of Pink was given the correct information (by Australian Farmers), they made apologies and changed their opinions.
  6. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    I salute the very eloquent statements that came before me. Cannot follow that up but to say hear hear. I feel sad when I drive by the trucks with the little moo's batting their long eyelashes. I believe that they don't know what's going on and provided they are treated kindly what does it matter.

    Most celebrities just like to get on a bandwagon for their own PR benifit.Very big of Pink to change her stance when given the facts. Hat's off to her.**) My dad used to work in Uganda in a facility that studies/researches amongst other things AIDS. He used to see these celebrities come and go and he thought it amusing at which ones actually seemed more interested in how they came across to the media and not so much on the reason they were there.

    I pay little if no attention when a celebrity endorses charity work as a result I'm afraid.
  7. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    I'm sure that I am going to get shouted down here, but how on earth can animals bundled so tightly onto a truck that they cannot move and are stuck in the same postion for hours not be cruel! Not only that, but they then have to be transported by sea for days/weeks to a country where I very much doubt care about the welfare of the animal is not a priority - after all, it's just meat to them - and will not have the same standards when it comes to slaughtering the animal.

    Why can't we export frozen meat? If it's purely for trade reasons, I'm sure that if the only meat available was frozen (along with our "competitive" neighbours), the countries wanting the live export (for religious reasons?!) would change their ways - why can't they send people over here to slaughter the animals to comply with their religion?

    As for people's livelihoods, WA is the most prosperous it has been for a long time. There are so many jobs in the mining industry that nobody need to be unemployed - and they pay bloody good wages. Yes, it might be a total change in industry for a farmer whose family has been in the farming industry for generations, but if it is a way of supporting their family, I know what I would do.

    Of course, in an ideal world, everybody would have the job that they love and have been trained to do, but in this world we can't be that lucky.

    I don't think that the welfare of these poor animals can be overlooked for the sake of another countries demands. And yes, I cannot believe for one minute that people don't think that the animals' welfare is not compromised. What about the horses that are trucked across the Nullabor - many are ill and need vet attention, at the very least they need a few days to recover and that's only after 3 days in 5 star luxury in comparison to the livestock being shipped. I believe it is easier for people, whose livelihoods depend on these shipments, to put little significance on the negative factors (which is understandable), but that does not make it OK!

    ...deep breath...and now I might run for cover :)
  8. wraithe

    wraithe Guest

    Hmmm, did i hear my name called...

    Yes it looks so cruel, and to think those poor sheep pushed into a truck and shoved in like sardines...

    Fact, you only load sheep to a pen so as not to leave room for them to go head over heels when you move, ie drive forward, stop, turn...If you dont load them into pens correctly they will end up very sore and possibly dead...even a half load of sheep, will only get put into half the pens, the rest of the truck will be empty, so they dont get hurt...

    Legs hanging out of truck pushing one back in, but i will give you advice, DUCK!! they kick, I have landed on the deck a couple of times, try dropping 10 ft to the ground, you wont do it again...they put there leg out for comfort, even a horse or cow alone in a stock crate, will lean against the side when they have too much space, i know i do when in the back of a crate....

    another thing, when they sit, lean, or push leg out of truck, leave them alone, they are stressed enough with us near them as it is, you go over being a goody two shoes, that will kill stand back and just make sure they are breathing ok and not got a head thru a gate when closed...if you go too close they will bunch up in the pen and then you could end up with dead sheep...

    when you see a stock truck on the road, give them space to manouver, if they stop too quick, guess what, possible dead sheep...these are the real killers, and the fact of annoying the sheep to keep do gooders happy...

    As for meat export, well how many here complain when the meat they take home from coles or woolies is a bit off, especially beef...if you really are upset about your steak then try putting it under running water for an hour, it is edible then....oh you still wouldnt eat it, then why expect some one from a country that dont have good freezing equipment and travel times are not in a car, eat that sort of meat...

    The stock is well cared for but as they travel across an ocean with limited space, and need to keep there pens clean, so the sheep need to be moved, they will get losses from stress of being handled...ask anyone who has owned flocks of sheep, and i dont mean the pet in the backyard thats exposed to human activity regular, but stock that dont get handled daily, they spend a lot of time collecting dead carcass's and disposing of them, and thats just in these paddocks they feed in...

    Ever see the weather reports, possible stock losses, try a bit of a storm or lightning, they will die just from that, even the wind stirring up the trees can cause a lamb to die from stress...

    As for methods of slaughter, in australia there are very few places that dont use muslim slaughterman, reason being is a lot of our meat is Halal meat for customers, and a lot of the customers are muslims, here in australia...

    The methods they use are very sensible, in fact other than praying to allah and facing the carcass towards mecca, its the same as we use anyway... I have a religion thats different again(unlike christians who thank god at meal time) and when i kill for meat, i thank the gods for the life i have taken to feed me...Its really not much different, but i like fresh meat, dont you...if they slaughtered here then transported that meat to that country for consumption, then they would have to thaw it then refreeze it, isnt that a NO-NO,,,,

    better to kill there fresh, then sell and then it can be frozen if they wish it to...this idea of export carcass's is just pure fantasy, the quality of the meat would be appalling, and then you would have major health risks...

    I personally, think that there is no solution to keep everyone happy, but i would like to get these people from PETA and give them an education in animal husbandry along with sending them on every trip that those ships take...They would also need to follow the sheep, starting with the places the sheep are from, and see the losses the farmers have, the selection critiria required for exporters, and the amount of care taken to get them there...remember, every sheep lost before the delivery, is money that aint earnt, and remember, its profit that drives this industry and to loose sheep is to loose profit, and quality of the sheep upon arrival has to be high, so they wont shirk on the sheep, they will give them the best they can so as not to loose any...

    As for stress upon the sheep..well dont eat meat again, that means one less per week we have to breed and kill...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2007
  9. Jez

    Jez Gold Member

    I defer to the senior trucky - I only drove cattle ONCE and that was enough.

    SMR - I do relate and I do understand - even more so since a couple of weeks ago delivering a breech friesian x angus calf. Ive delivered lots of things, never a bovine before...and NO ONE is eating Cindy...I helped pull her into existance and saw her first breath. The very thought of Cindy (Ive got to stop naming things after myself..its a bit egotistical) going on a nolove boat cruise to the middle east just horrifies me!.

    But..we do eat meat as a species. There are too many humans on this planet and to feed them all is a global task. All countries depend on others in some way or another to feed their population (Try buying a jar of minced garlic without the words "From imported and Local ingredients" on the label) its unfortunately just the way it is.

    Its all good healthy debate. Unfortunately its just not a topic theres any one size fits all answer for.
  10. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Hmmm...just looked at those websites - thanks Rose. PETA do seem to have some issues, however, I do not know the full story, nor is it their bandwagon I jump on.

    Before I go any further, I would like to make it clear that it is not the people producing nor transporting these animals that I think are responsible for what I consider the cruel treatment of these animals. They are doing a job. Wraithe, I feel that you are defending your job and probably have had to in light of some protestors (I'm making a big assumption here). I don't doubt what you have said. I do not, however, like to see the trucks and a lot of what you said saddened me even more - I didn't realise how timid/sensitive sheep were. As for me not eating lamb, I think that as Australia has the capacity to "grow" sheep, the issues are quite different (BTW, I rarely eat lamb and never buy it, but that's for personal reasons).

    As for the other countries, if they are unable to "grow" their own sheep nor are able to keep it under suitable conditions for eating (frozen), then I don't see why they should be eating sheep. It's not a necessity. It is a luxury that, at the moment, is easily accessible because our government allows it to be. Am I blaming our government?...hmmm, well they are the ones that have the power to do something. I am aware that there is a lot more to the debate than I (and probably most people) know, but if people allow it to happen, it will.

    I hope I haven't upset people as that is no way my intention. I am merely expressing my dislike for the whole live transportation thing.

  11. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    you havent upset people at all smr its good to have a rounded discussion and hear from all sides of the coin and we are just lucky enough that we have several members on here that do know many sides great discussion guys keep up the good work
  12. genuinesqueak

    genuinesqueak Active Member

    I was just reading this and agree totally with Mod 6 :)
  13. wraithe

    wraithe Guest

    Hey SMR, i'm retired, so it isnt my

    Ummm, you have to be kidding about them not eating sheep...
    are you for would take a big chunk of there diet away from them, and what give them weapons for oil instead of food..please be realistic, you drive a car, you use plastics..all these come from oil and a big amount of this oil comes from these countries, yet you wouldnt give them food...i think they should stop transporting oil across the world and help stop destroying the oceans with the spillage, but i wouldnt starve a person to stop it...

    You need to look at the logic of what you said...these sheep are food for people that eat to survive, expecting them to change there diet yet remove wealth from there nation for pure greed...argh...try to stop driving a car, your destroying the planet, and stop promoting nuclear power(oh yeh turn your lights off) as that heats the atmosphere and causes loss of life, in fact eventually the loss of the planet to animals...Feeding a nation that needs food is sense, stopping the food from travelling there, is a lot like cruelty to children...dont you watch coutries like Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti...oh and at the moment, Eastern Australia...The big dramas why food needs to be able to travel around the world, and travel freshly is a problem called "DROUGHT"!!!!We cant escape it, in fact your feeding horses are you not, how much feed you got, lots hey, cause the stock feeders have plenty, but there suppliers dont...

    I'm sorry but i think anyone here who thinks that people in other countries needs to supply there own food, needs to go bush and have a look at where our food comes from, at the moment a lot of food for the eastern states, is coming from the west and Qld way...why, because of drought, if we didnt have the other places to grow food, it would be coming from overseas...and at the moment there is a lot of imported food on the shelves...

    We are no different, the eastern states is starving, and they wont have crops again this year, in fact most of the irrigation country is finished, no water...Sheep are mostly exported from WA, its our staple export, along with wheat..these two products go hand in hand...both are exported to the countries above, would you like us to stop exporting wheat as none is growing in the east at the moment and they have been importing it from overseas, for milling..(oh a lot of you people didnt know that), hmm maybe because people dont worry about us bringing in bugs from other countries, until its too late...This wheat is being imported from Canada...

    anyway i'm off track and had enough...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2007
  14. jodie

    jodie Well-known Member

    wraithe i think you summed up what i would have said pretty well. Unfortuantely too many people also look at animals being transported and try to think what comfort would be from a human perspective. Aside from the safety aspect you have said during transporting, animals always prefer to bunch together when they are nervous or in unusual situations. Ever walked into a pen of cows or sheep that arent regularly handled? what do they do? they bunch together in a corner...not try to spread out so they have lots of leg room **) Yes some of what goes on is less than ideal but i think people need to consider the habits of animal and not what we would like. To be honest i think PETA is quite unrealistic in a lot of there ideas.

    As for leg hanging out of trucks if they really wanted to they could juts pull it back in :)*
  15. wraithe

    wraithe Guest

    ROFL, Jodie...the leg bit with sheep can be a classic...
    Had a RSPCA officer at the wharf carry on about one sheep in the truck, so i told him to go push it back in, was on the third deck, poor fella, hey, he pushed it in and next thing he got wacked in the head by the leg, well he hit the deck and was out cold for a minute, we kind of offered him a drink and helped him to get over onto one of the chairs we had there...he said he had a rotten headache from the fall, and recon the sheep could get stuffed, he wouldnt do that again...
    We did warn him not to...But then he apparently hadnt been around sheep much anyway....
  16. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Wraithe, you are obviously very passionate about this topic. I would like, however, to clarify a few things. I feel that I have been misunderstood and the direction that this discussion is heading is away from my points. In response to your last post, I would like to question a few of your statements.


    You do not need to eat meat to survive - vegetarians?!

    I am fully aware of where plastics, fuel, even cosmetics etc come from, but cannot see the relevance of your comments to what I have previously said, other than we can only trade sheep/cattle in return for oil!??? Are you aware of where our exported animals go? The following link details the countries in receipt of our animals:


    The countries that are receiving our sheep/cattle inlude Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, USA...these are some of the richest countries in the world. I can't find any mention of Ethiopia, Somalia...

    What does this have to do with the export of animals? If I couldn't afford to feed my animals or supply them with adequate food, I wouldn't own them. My personal circumstances are not relevant to my previous posts. My points have been to do with the welfare of transporting animals alive.

    ...not food that has suffered to get here - I hope. If that is the case, I think we should all be alerted to this. I certainly wouldn't be buying, and hence supporting, any trade where animals have suffered.

    Wheat is an entirely different topic...I don't see your point.

    Just a recap of my "protests":

    I don't believe that animals should suffer to appease human preferences (Meat is a luxury, not a necessity - protein is found in many other sources).

    I am fully aware that there is a lot of politics behind trading, but I don't have to agree with what is being done - I am just expessing my opinion.

    I am not supporting the tactics of PETA, nor am I dismissing them - I don't know all the facts and am fully aware that quotes/actions can be taken out of context from all parties.

    I am passionate about cruelty to animals, but also understand that I am just one person expressing my opinion.
  17. wraithe

    wraithe Guest

  18. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Oops! Thanks Wraithe :D
  19. wraithe

    wraithe Guest

    If we're going to debate then it dont hurt to help both sides of the debate...

    I can understand that you have the belief stock is mistreated but i think you will find its more the exception rather than the rule...
    Same as these groups that claim racing horses, or having them in stables, or even being ridden is cruel, they will always try to twist the truth to meet there ends...

    as for those countries that i quoted, most of the nations within that area recieve processed foods from the countries that recieve our exports, and there are heaps that benefit, from the export, including our own nation...

    At one time we werent able to export to the states, or even Europe, but now we can, thanks to some of the bovine diseases that have occured on those continents...

    Some nations will accept frozen meet, but like most people i know, wouldnt you prefer fresh to frozen...
  20. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Hee hee... you are so right about people twisting the truth and there is never a right or wrong answer to most situations. I suppopse it's all sides of an argument (be it sheep or race horses) that, hopefully, keeps most situations "acceptable" for most parties.

    You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time!

    Thanks for the discussion, Wraithe. :)*

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