South Australia has reintroduced the Surveillance Devices Bill, a proposed law which is consistent with US style “ag-gag” legislation. The Bill seeks to criminalise the release of information derived from unlawful surveillance to the public, including a maximum penalty of $75,000 for a corporation and $15,000 or imprisonment for 3 years for individuals who use, communicate or publish material collected through the use of surveillance devices.
This Bill could have a significant impact on how media organisations and news services report on all matters of public interest, including the farming of animals for food in Australia.
Similarly, the NSW Government has called for public comment on proposed reforms to strengthen existing biosecurity laws in the state and the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson MP and Federal Agriculture Minister, Senator Barnaby Joyce announced at a Nationals conference this month that they would use the proposed reforms to introduce laws to target animal activists that use undercover surveillance publish information derived from such surveillance to the public.
Aust state and federal governments do not want the public to know what is happening in live export facilities, on some farms and in some abattoirs. So instead of acknowledging and addressing the problems to ensure appropriate animal care and treatment in addition to giving consumers confidence, our pollies are hell bent on covering it all up. And just what if the illegal surveillance turns up child abuse, aged-care abuse etc...do we lock up those whistleblowers also?
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/animal-cruelty-activists-targeted-by-tough-new-biosecurity-measures-20140615-zs8jt.html#ixzz3653zdm1O
Award winning Australian journalist Peter Greste, and his colleagues, held in appalling conditions in a Cairo jail since December 29,2013 have been convicted and sentenced to 7+ years for 'fabricating news and tarnishing Egypt's reputation abroad' and 'airing misleading news' about Egypt. Perhaps trade sanctions would be in order? Well at least live export trade sanctions? Not much hope for our Australian cattle when our people are treated so badly.
And, for the record, Senator Back, the whistleblowing Egyptian vet has fled his country with his family so he doesnt end up with the same verdict. Mahmoud Abdelwahab's "motives" that you wished to investigate turn out to be simply that he refused to ignore social injustice and animal cruelty. Altruism is probably not easily understood in the live export industry!
WESTERN Australia’s biggest meat processor, V&V Walsh, has entered a $1 billion joint venture with Chinese interests that potentially could boost the company’s operations by 500,000 lambs and 30,000 cattle a year.
The Chinese interests are apparently seeking up to 50 sea-containers of beef and lamb/day, which would exceed the capacity that any individual Australian exporter could deliver. This would obviously bring substantial onshore processing benefits to Australia, something that surely is desirable.
So why are we looking to export to China? Or anywhere else for that matter?
One year ago Vietnam ranked as Australia’s 11th largest livestock export market, with imports of 8900 cattle.
However, exports for the year to date (current to April ) have soared to 112,982 head , putting Vietnam into the position of Australia’s second largest market.
So despite plenty of reports from Vietnam of importers leaking cattle out of the supply chains contrary to the oh-so successful ESCAS, its business as usual.
A picture's worth a thousand words. So check this website:Skeletal-images-of-endurance-horse-Shaklas-Sudden-Impact-sparks-outrage-in-equestrian-community.
If they dont look after their performance animals, there is little chance they will look after our exported Australian livestock.
Namet, a Turkish red meat production and processing company, plans to export fresh red meat to Middle Eastern countries to meet the demand for fresh and high-quality products in this market. “The people in the Middle East are fed up with frozen meat products."
The Middle East is about half a day from WA by air so why isnt Australia capitalising on this demand for chilled meat instead of sending live animals? If Turkey can, we can...if there is a will
Apparently price for Australian feeder steers in Indonesia has dropped as markets are flooded with boxed meat. Australia is the major supplier of boxed beef to Indonesia, and shipments are currently running at more than double the volume of last year.
The increased export volumes have been triggered by the Indonesian Government’s decision to relax import regulations last November in a bid to improve beef supplies and bring down wet market prices for consumers.
Hmm so much for live export being required to supply protein for Indonesians!!!
Livestock exporters are unhappy with the moves by the Federal Department of Agriculture (DAFF) to increase cost-recovery charges for mandatory export certification services by around 60-70pc from July . Apparently, the increase is needed to recover the full costs DAFF incurs from providing export certification services to industry.
Senator Back apparently asked why the entire cost of administering ESCAS should be carried by industry, when clearly whatever benefits flowed from ESCAS did not fall completely on exporters. Well, those benefits certainly do not flow to the average taxpayer Senator Back. Perhaps it is appropriate that exporters (and the other beneficiaries of the trade) now have to pay for their previously taxpayer funded subsidies. Might bring the live export trade into line with other businesses that dont enjoy these same subsidies.
VALE has previously called for an investigation by the Productivity Commission into the overall benefits (or costs) to Australia of this trade. Perhaps now would be a good time.