Last night I watched ABC's Four Corners' "Another Bloody Business". Another bloody disgrace is what I would have called it. I add my voice to many others who are feeling a lot of anger and distress at the shameful revelations in the program - thank goodness for the ABC - and shame on a government that continues to support such a disgraceful set of circumstances. Minister Ludwig, your repeated assurances that animal welfare standards for live shipments are being addressed by last year's introduction of the ESCAS scheme, (Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme) beggars belief.
As the minister would be aware, once animals are unloaded in a foreign country the Australian government has no jurisdiction whatsoever to intervene on their behalf should welfare standards be compromised. This makes a mockery of ESCAS' guarantee of humane standards.
Any confidence in ESCAS as a workable resolution to 26 years of unregulated inhumanity to Australia's live animal exports is an insult to a public now aware of atrocities associated with this industry. First it was cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses, then the barbaric treatment and sacrificial slaughter of sheep in the Middle East, and now 20,000 sheep clubbed to death and buried alive in Pakistan.
No one should accept any excuses to delay the inevitable ban on this shameful trade. Send the animals chilled in cartons and create jobs in Australia as NZ has been doing successfully for over 40 years. I will not vote for a government that supports live exports. I look forward to real changes by a government that listens to voters and is composed of persons of integrity and compassion.