2011 draws to a close with the animal welfare landscape in Australia forever changed. Animal industries that have thrived at the expense of animal suffering have been dragged from the shadows and are finally being made publicly and politically accountable... Expand »
With your support, young dairy calves thrown aside as waste products of the industry have been given a voice; an abattoir responsible for unspeakable cruelty against pigs has been shut down; the plight of caged sheep confined indoors day and night has led to a rethink in the fashion industry; and Australia’s chicken industry is being taken to task in the courts for deceiving people about how meat chickens are raised. But it was live export and the final moments of five animals that broke the hearts of a nation and brought the cruellest industry this country has ever known to its knees.
After eight years documenting and exposing horrendous cruelty in the live export trade, Animals Australia’s investigation in Indonesia sparked a tidal wave of concern across the country. Outrage reverberated within the walls of the Federal parliament with four historic bills introduced to end live export, two parliamentary inquiries launched and Labor backbenchers rebelling against their government. The Gillard government has been forced to take unprecedented action, introducing new controls that will make live export harder, more expensive and will put the trade under more scrutiny than ever before. As a result of our investigation in Indonesia there has been rapid adoption of stunning for Australian cattle going through abattoirs in that country, whilst Australian animals will be saved from the worst abuses in the Middle East thanks to a ban on private sale and slaughter.
Whilst the live trade continues for now, we have taken a major step that will lead towards its inevitable demise. Core political support for an end to live export only gets stronger, with the issue taken to the floor of the recent ALP Federal conference. Nearly half of the 400 delegates voiced support for an end to the trade.
The public response to our live export campaign in conjunction with RSPCA Australia, has, as one senior rural journalist put it, made animal welfare ‘the new black’ in Australia. The Four Corners program based on our evidence from Indonesia won the prestigious Gold Walkley award for journalistic excellence and spurred an astonishing 40,000 plus media stories since June highlighting cruelty in the live trade. For her work in consistently uncovering the horrors of live export, Lyn White was honoured as a state finalist for Australian of the Year and named by The Age newspaper as one of Victoria’s top 100 most inspirational and influential people.
All of this signals a changed platform for animal welfare in Australia and with your continued support we will be in a better position than ever before to do even more for animals in 2012.