New live export market announcement only guarantees more cruelty
Thailand joins Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, and Cambodia to become the fifth live export market opened or re-opened this year by the federal government.
None of these markets are known for their standards of animal welfare; indeed Iran is ranked by World Animal Protection’s Animal Protection Index as among the countries with the most room for improvement.
Thailand itself is an exporter of red meat to markets in Asia. Its own herd has shrunk such that Australia will now supply live cattle for processing in Thailand, some of the products of which will be consumed in Thailand and some of which will be exported elsewhere.
It seems as if Australia would prefer to support Thailand’s meat processing industry to the detriment of our own, once again sacrificing local employment and value-added opportunities.
It would protect animals from cruelty and make sense economically to export chilled and frozen meat to Thailand, as well as to the markets that Thailand has traditionally exported to. Australia could assist Thailand to build up its own cattle herd by exporting Australian know-how and technology.
How many more Australian animals will be subjected to the stress and risks associated with sea voyages, uncertain conditions and treatment at their destinations?
How any more must suffer before the government realises that Australia would be economically better off and more Australians would be employed if we processed our animals locally and exported chilled and frozen meat only?