Animals Australia Update
Wednesday 1st March 2006
Today, Animals Australia has revealed for the first time that a broader undercover investigation has been conducted in the Middle East into the treatment of Australian animals. Animals 's Communication Director Lyn White, and her British co-investigator who was funded by PETA , visited four other Middle Eastern countries - , , and , where they documented further terrible acts of cruelty to animals. A press conference has been held today in Melbourne to release details of the broader investigation.
For the first time, indisputable evidence of endemic and widespread cruelty to Australian animals in importing countries has been documented. 's live export industry and the Federal government clearly are culpable for the suffering of these animals. Not only are they prepared to put millions of Australian animals through the stresses of at least 2 weeks at sea, they then supply them to be handled and slaughtered by countries notorious for their terrible treatment of animals.
Many of you will recall the distressing footage from the investigation of 2003. The slaughterhouse that was publicly exposed as a result of that investigation should have been the subject of every possible Australian industry effort ... if they really were able to fulfil their claim of improving animal welfare in the Middle East . This 2006 investigation documented that nothing had changed - hundreds of Australian sheep were still being manhandled to slaughter each night, but worse, this time the investigators documented the horrendous slaughter of cattle at this facility - and exports both beef and dairy cattle to .
Today we have only released further footage from , and . Footage from and await the live export industry if they continue to claim that they have improved animal welfare in the Middle East . Animals has sought a meeting with the Prime Minister to provide him with the full details of this investigation.
The Howard government can no longer abandon Australian principles and ethics and our responsibilities to Australian animals. The suspension of the trade to instantly brought the issue of animal welfare to the Egyptian government. That is how one country influences positive change in another - by leading by example and not sacrificing long established ethical principals for the sake of profit
At www.animalsaustralia.org you will find details of today's media release which talks about what the investigation documented in and .
This provides you with further information/evidence to support your calls to Prime Minister Howard and Minister McGauran.
Contact details for the PM and Minister for Agriculture, Minister Peter McGauran once again are:
Finally - On behalf of Lyn and myself particularly, I want to sincerely thank all of you who have sent such wonderful messages of support for the investigation in and the exposure here in . My apologies that we have not been able to respond to you all personally. As you would expect, I think - the small AA team has been deluged with concerned community members wanting to know how to help - and we have been busy ensuring they have the details they need to express their views to our politicians.
I join with you in great admiration of the courage, tenacity and commitment of Lyn for the work undertaken in the Middle East (and fully acknowledging too the skills and support of her co-investigator). Knowing first-hand of the incredible investment of time, the dangers, and the difficult emotions involved - I am struggling to find the words to express my tremendously high regard and appreciation of Lyn's endeavours to expose the terrible realities of the treatment of animals in the Middle East . As many of you have said - absolutely brilliant!
And of course the battle is hardly begun - we must now ensure the findings of this revealing investigation are acted upon by the Government.
So please do continue this tremendous outpouring of concern. Let the Government know that in light of indisputable evidence of the endemic suffering of Australian animals in the Middle East , that they must ban this trade.
For the animals,
return to 60 Minutes transcript 26 Feb 2006