Towards 2000 people rallied on the morning of June 9, 2018 at 11.00 a.m to protest against live animal exports. The rally, organised by The Animal Justice Party and Animals Australia, attracted a very united crowd of men women and children horrified by the inevitable and intense pain and suffering inflicted on the hapless cargo of these ships no matter where they are headed.
My feeling was that this industry represents a standard of treatment of other creatures that is so low that even though they are not physically hurt by it themselves , people will just not put up with it.
If it were not for the "whistle blowers" recording the awful suffering of sheep and cattle on the ships and at their destination we would be unaware. They have brought it into our living rooms where it cannot be ignored or denied.
Another person who attended this protest summed it up as "Live Export is like mass immigration - it is another thing that Australians do not want, but which is foisted upon us by our governments."
Animals Australia organised rallies throughout Australia today and Victoria's was on the steps of Parliament House in Spring Street Melbourne at 1.00pm. What a united crowd it was that started to assemble well before 1.00 p.m. The eventual numbers were huge. I would not like to hazard a guess but to give the idea, I was standing on the footpath near the bottom of the steps and could not see my way out in any direction. People covered the footpath all across the steps, up the steps and well across Spring Street. It was a vey large crowd. Pictures inside.
Hon. Kelvin Thomson gave an impassioned speech highlighting that more than 90% of animals raised for meat were processed in Australia and that our task is to make it 100%. Mr Thomson also pointed out the frustrations of negotiating with agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce who says he cannot do anything regarding breaches of the laws with respect to exported animals (e.g. being sold to unapproved outlets overseas) nor says Mr. Joyce can he do anything after a breach has occurred - a recipe for inaction!
Other speakers were Hon. Adam Bandt MP, Dr. Liz Walker, President of RSPCA, and of course Lyn White President of Animals Australia who told an absolutely heart rending story of an experience with an Arabic speaking colleague in a Middle Eastern country in a slaughtering shed where the colleague stayed amidst a very unsympathetic, bloody multiple animal slaughter to comfort 2 terrified sheep who were tied up watching this in terror waiting for their turn.
Animals Australia urges everyone to contact their MPs to give them the message to stop live animal export.
Links for action to help animals added end of page on 23 October Despite pouring rain, perhaps 1000 people attended the Anti Live Export Rally on the steps of Melbourne Parliament on Saturday 6 October 2012. One observer said it was the biggest rally she had ever attended. Among those who addressed the crowd was Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White, whose risk-taking to expose international abuse of sheep and cattle makes her one of the bravest people in the world. Another speaker in the crowd was Kelvin Thomson Labor MP, who also shows more daring than his parliamentary colleagues in this matter and for having campaigned against overpopulation in Australia and elsewhere.
Another observer described the massive gathering in front of parliament House Spring Street.
"Soon after I arrived the crowd spilled onto the road and the rally continued for about one hour with the crowd fully occupying Exhibition Street opposite Parliament House. There was chanting from the crowd led from the front -'No ban, no vote, get the animals off the boat,'"
As the speakers began, the skys opened and up came the umbrellas. Glenys Oogjes of Animals Australia introduced Lyn White of Animals Australia. Lyn who has brought the attention of the public to the atrocious treatment of animals exported from Australia gave an impassioned and determined speech saying that we will win on this issue.
Thomson highlights Dept Primary Industry conflict of interest
This interview with Kelvin Thomson was broadcast on October 3, 2012.
Kelvin Thomson was forceful in his opposition to live animal exports. He highlighted a conflict of interests with the department of Primary Industry overseeing animal welfare and advocated that a separate animal welfare department be created. He also advocated that abattoirs be set up in Australia for export meat – slaughter and processing - and that the live export trade should be phased out all together.
Adam Bandt the member for Melbourne was also warmly welcomed by the crowd.
It seems remarkable, but true, that Australians will do more politically to demonstrate how much the treatment of animals matters to them than on any other perennial matter. It is obvious that politicians and the commercial press wish this fact would go away and hope it will if they ignore it. Parliament seems dominated by small-minded bean-counting meanies whose decisions repeatedly indicate an absence of empathy to a degree more usually associated with psychopaths. Australians, classically disorganised by the colonial practice of divide and conquer and the associated structural chaos of constant urban adjustment to continual population growth, still manage to get together for domestic animals. Let us hope that this capacity to organise will spread to protect indigenous fauna and their habitat. There is no doubt that Australians also care enormously about indigenous animals, but somehow they are not yet able to reach these peaks of social impact.