Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Live Export Supply Chain Breaches in Jordan and Kuwait

I have been informed by Animals Australia that serious breaches of Australia’s live export rules have occurred in Jordan and Kuwait on the eve of the Eid al Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which regrettably in the past has seen a heightened level of animal cruelty.  This has involved things like animals being stuffed alive in car boots and being killed by being stabbed to death while fully conscious.

I am concerned by reports by Animals Australia that animals are being sold at roadside stalls.  I believe that the Department of Agriculture has been made aware of this.  Animals Australia alleges about 10,000 Australian sheep exported to Jordan have "leaked" from approved supply chains, and been sold in unofficial markets.
If this is true, it would be a major breach of the live export rules put in place in 2011. I have written to the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce, seeking his urgent attention to this matter.

The live export trade is not only a failure of ethics but a failure of economics. We should move towards a viable alternative – a local chilled meat export industry that protects and creates more Australian rural jobs, results in higher profitability through value added opportunities and addresses the public’s welfare concerns.

In 2011 the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU), estimated that some 3,500 direct employment meat processing jobs have been lost because of the Australian live animal trade. World Society for the Protection of Animals research indicates that the direct and indirect jobs created by growing the domestic meat processing industry would in fact exceed those that would be lost from the live export trade.

Transitioning away from live exports and into domestic processing would be better for both animal welfare and for Australian jobs.


  1. Nice one Kelvin. It's so great to see a nod to the ethical basis as well as the economic rationale. The ethical case for policies must be made more strongly in general. If Labor fights Abbott's repeal of carbon pricing primarily on neoliberal economic grounds it will be difficult. Whereas on ethical grounds the case for pricing is as clear cut as abolition. I'd love to see Labor rhetoric move more in this direction. I think it would prove extremely powerful and essentially unanswerable by the neoliberal dogma that permeates the Liberal government.

  2. We can't simply dismiss animal welfare because the animals aren't in Australia. How can their well-being, and the supply chain controls, be guaranteed from Australia? These countries are corrupt and no doubt anything can happen if one has the right cash! Sold-on sheep can be horribly treated, and abused by slaughter by amateurs. Ethics can't be dismissed when animals are used as an economic resource. The live export trade has shown once again to be morally, ethically and economically unsustainable.

  3. Kelvin I suggest you stay away from the live export debate, last time labor was involved it crippled regional Australia. Live export is a ethical trade and without Australia being involved animal welfare standards world wide would be considerably worse.

    1. Dingo Pocket, you obviously are not up to date on the live export issues, or you are clouding them because you have vested monetary interests in livestock. It's good that Kelvin has the integrity to face up to this issue. Australia should be moving away from brutality and setting high standards by NOT sending live animals overseas. The world is a harsh and predatory place, and hearts are cold for animals. Sending them is increasing and endorsing halal and third-world brutality. It's unpardonable.

    2. ethical??? you are so, i really am lost for words here, without being obscene and name calling, i am truly lost for words. YOU ARE SO WRONG AND FOOLISH TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU WROTE

  4. Well done, Kelvin; please keep it up. Although a positive response from Barnaby seems extremely unlikely. Cruelty to animals cannot be justified on religious grounds. Also, well said Jarrod. Labor has to be seen to stand for something and an ethical basis for its policies will contrast it starkly against the self-interested, narrow-minded, short-sighted worldview of the conservatives.

  5. Thank you for continuing to push for reform on this issue. Australia has an ethical responsibility for the welfare of the animals it exports in the live trade and our duty of care does not - and must not end - once they are loaded on a vessel. We are wise to remember the words of Jeremy Bentham and that we are morally accountable for the way we treat those who cannot speak, as well as those who can:
    “The day may come when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

  6. fantastic to hear that there is someone prepared to speak out about this who is in parliament. Keep at it!! My MP barely even acknowledges letters of concern about this.

    Hekarwe, unfortunately animals are paying dearly for people who really don't give a hek. If you can look at footage of the way animals are being treated and call it an ethical trade, you clearly have no ethics or any idea of what being ethical means - get an education.

  7. Thank you for your abiding commitment in the face of indifference and insult to this admirable campaign. This heinous trade based on greed and cruelty in Australia and callousness and barbarity in client countries cannot endure in this climate-challenged nation. Vide the permanent drought!!! Degrading the habitat, degrading the sensibilities of sensate creatures.
    Australia had a thriving trade in frozen meat when it was transported by Windjammers. Y can we not convince client countries to reinstate this trade? Whole nations and large communities live ethical, creative and just lives as vegetarians...let us ponder that.

  8. Thank you Kelvin. We need to be the voices for these animals who are treated so shamefully by countries (and exporters) who care nothing for animal welfare outcomes. The only people who support the vile live export trade are the ones with vested interests. It's all about the $$$ nothing else. I am so disgusted by this unnecessary cruelty. Live exports must end and the Libs need to realise this is an issue that will not go away. Ever.

  9. Thank you for speaking out against this barbaric trade. As you point out rural Australia would be best served by a move to the chilled meat industry and jobs would be created, not lost.
    Most Australians have had to re-skill and adapt to new ways of making a living, it is time that the perpetrators of the export industry did the same.
    It is time that the export industry stopped lying to the Australian public. We have seen the evidence of appalling cruelty in this industry and it is no use trying to tell us that this is a well-regulated ethical trade.