Greg Brown, a fourth generation grazier in far north Queensland and a former boss of the Cattle Council of Australia says the operator at the centre of the scandal in Gaza should not be allowed to ship animals out of Australia until it's been cleared of wrongdoing.
Mr Brown says the latest revelation of animal cruelty overseas means the confidence of cattlemen in the current Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) "must be severely shaken". He says the entire beef cattle industry will be judged harshly as a result and leaders cannot afford to dismiss it as another isolated incident.
"It's just unacceptable and these things shouldn't happen."
Whilst the Australian Live Export Council took the unprecedented step of self reporting one of the Gaza videos from Animals Australia to the Department of Agriculture (see letter), the WA Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) appears to be in denial. Bizarrely, it says it believes much of the footage released by animal welfare groups showing alleged mistreatment of Australian livestock overseas was a "constructed set-up" and part of a "vendetta" against livestock producers. "They [Animals Australia] always seem to be able to come up with some dreadful footage and I'm not so sure that a lot of this stuff is not set up."
Hard to imagine Lyn White or one of her contacts convincing an armed Middle Eastern man to kneecap a bull in front of her camera to show Australia the cruelty that exists to animals in the Middle East....let alone whip up the frenzy in an all male Gaza crowd to do a bit of chase, tie up and bull torture. But there we have it.....the clutching at straws promoted by PGA president Rob Gillam.
More terrible footage of cruelty to Australian cattle, this time from Gaza. DAFF have been investigating this since November 5, 2013. There is no indication that the Department’s investigation will conclude any time soon and certainly no evidence that exporters will be sanctioned... well, they never are... despite repeated breaches.
If this trade is too continue then DAFF should require
the exporters to demonstrate why their export licence or licences should not be suspended pending the finalisation of the investigations. Definitely for the sake of the animals. However, even if one only cares about the dollars, this should be done for public confidence....assuming there is any left.
One of Australia's biggest cattlemen, Jack Burton has hit out at the Federal Government for failing to support investment in onshore processing to reduce the industry's dependence on live exports.
His Yeeda Pastoral Company, which has about 60,000 cattle on seven stations covering about 1.2 million hectares, is building a $20 million abattoir with capacity to process about 50,000 cattle a year between Broome and Derby. It is basically being built for his own cattle but Mr Burton said that "now that we have taken it this far it would only take about 25 per cent ($5 million) of the current spend to take the capacity out to 125,000 head and make it a regional facility."
Mr Burton wants to expand the project with Government backing.....surely a win win all round. But no, the Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce won't even meet up with him.