Four Corners animal cruelty


Help stop the horror of animal export. Please post comments for a protest letter to the Government.


The Government is cracking down on live exports to Asia after horrific footage shown on Four Corners taken by an animal rights activists, blew the lid on the unspeakable cruelty that is going on under our noses.

But farmers are already putting the heat on the Government hoping for a backdown, according to The Australian. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure that such needless suffering is stopped. Please help by raising your voices.

Use this blog to express your feelings!


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50 Responses to Four Corners animal cruelty

  1. Tony Y 15 August 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Hi Ruth,
    I would be interested to hear your POV on an article and the related issues from The Weekend Australian 13/14/Aug by Christopher Pearson “Crusaders or Live Cattle Dumb Chums ?”
    There is one quote which I found particularly interesting as I have been baffled at least from the outside looking in by peoples sense of proportion on this issue for many years now. It was the paragraph which reads ” Not many of the people who are more concerned with cruelty to animals than with man’s cruelty to man have a sense of proportion.” Do you think this may be true or a load of codswallop? .
    What do you think of all these allegations of payments and retribution?

  2. Lachlan Prescott 13 July 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Want to have a REAL chance to have a say on the live animal export issue? You have only until Friday 15th July to put in your submission to the Government. Do it, please!

  3. Rosie Bryant 25 June 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Re your stance on live export. Ruth I have serious doubts as to whether you have done much research on this subject or if you opinion is simply based on the Four Corners footage. If those who are so opposed to live export really knew their onions they would be a little more balanced in their utterances. I would like to send you a letter from someone who has written a very solid description of why we should not discontinue live export. However I need to seek his permission firstly. I would be very surprised if this piece of writing did not open your eyes. Much has been written about the subject both by beef producers and proponents of a ban and I think one could read spiels for hours which of course gets a little tiring, however if there has been one piece of writing on this issue that has struck a chord with me it has been this chap’s letter. Cheers Rosie.

  4. John B 21 June 2011 at 12:05 am #

    I noticed that too. Cattle in the north, the ones used for export, are not the sleep, plump-looking stereotypical “moo cow” that people in the south of the country are used to. They are indeed stuff like brahman-cross’s, bred for a harsh climate, and some actually have a skinny look to them. This is because they are bred for the heat and harsh conditions. In fact they aren’t particularly attractive at all as a “poster animal”, so it’s no surprise another breed is used in the media as above. They look nothing like cattle people around even places like Rockhampton are used to seeing by the side of the road, and certainly nothing at all like those down around Sydney and Melbourne where the latte set lives who make the decisions that affect the lives of thousands in the north.
    Here’s hoping someone in government comes to their senses and realises we aren’t a big powerful world-beating nation, and are in fact a country with less people in it than most large overseas cities. We are in no position to dictate to anyone, much less countries of hundreds of millions of people who can easily just ignore us and turn to another source of product. We should be grateful that they PREFER to buy from us, but they certainly don’t HAVE to buy from us and if we pulled out altogether from the trade, it would mean nothing in the big scheme of things.

  5. Ruth Ostrow 20 June 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Fair point

  6. Louise Denton 20 June 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Incidentally, the photo you have on this section is of dairy breed, bobby calves – that is small calves. They look to be about a week to four weeks old. To my knowledge this type of animal is not exported live to any country. The animals which are the subject of the trade suspension are full grown, Braham cross tropical breed cattle.

    My question is – was this photo chosen for its emotive value or through ignorance of what type of cattle are exported live? There are plenty of photos around of the export cattle.

  7. Louise Denton 20 June 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    In today’s world in which many in the media seek to run with issues of popularity, including yourself Ruth Ostrow, it is immensely difficult for the average citizen to sift the facts from the fiction.
    The mark of a good journalist is to seek the facts and present a balanced story. This is so rare these days it is remarkable to find.

    The RSPCA and Animals Australia have cleverly used Four Corners as a venue for their ongoing agenda of stopping the trade of live animals for export out of Australia. The Federal Government has jumped on the bandwagon and taken action – at present, electorally, it cannot take unpopular action on the refugee issue or the introduction of a carbon tax, so it has chosen a populist political course. Farmers, afterall are a very small hidden part of the population, often vote Liberal and in urban Australia, can be ignored. Farmers are a soft target.

    It is quite acceptable to an urban based population to see the suspension of a legal trade in live cattle exports, when they do not understand the huge economic implications of this action on rural Australia. Today the price of cattle in markets in southern Australia which are killed in Australian abattoirs for Australian consumption fell by 10 to 15 cents a kilogram as a direct result of the suspension of the trade. In South Australia one business which sells hay and grain to Darwin for the live cattle trade will not longer have this business worth $2m. The farmers which supply this business, no longer have a market for their hay and grain and so on…
    One can only hope that Joe Ludwig will come to his political senses and negotiate the resumption of the trade on his trip to Indonesia this week.

    Ruth, you have also succumbed to advertising and commercial hype regarding Coles selling hormone free meat. Please check your facts before throwing your support behind Coles. Coles have used this as a successful marketing tool – yes, profits are up by 7 per cent, you say. Did you ask how much meat Coles was buying that contained growth hormones before this campaign? I don’t think you did, you just swallowed, unquestioningly the advertising. Farmers in my area have not used growth hormones ever for sheep meats and not used them for beef for more than 20 years and they do all sell to Coles!

  8. John B 20 June 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Yes, like a lot of people, I wondered exactly how “representative” of the general standard of ALL abotoirs in Indonesia that story was. Are they all like that? (we know they aren’t). Can we instead send teams there to educate them? I also wondered how we know for a fact that those cattle are Australian cattle.
    Coincidentally, I just saw an RSPCA advert which wants Julia Gillard to act now and ban ALL live trade overseas, with emotive pictures of people in what looked like the Middle East putting a couple of sheep in the boot of a car and shutting it (they like to take live animals back home to have fresh meat on demand) . It was an RSPCA advert. They have turned from an animal WELFARE organisation into an almost-radical animal RIGHTS organisation, one step removed from PETA in thier outlook. I won’t be donating anymore to the RSPCA.
    There’s no easy answer…there are no longer any large commercial abotoirs at all in the north of the country, the cattle produced for export are different to what we are used to in southern states (tougher meat, less fat content, lighter cattle), and people would know the difference in quality and taste if they were “simply sold on the local market”.

  9. BushFriend 20 June 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Thank you for such a reasoned argument. I have cried myself to sleep every night thinking of all those families in Indonesia going hungry and all those Australian family businesses going bankrupt all for nothing but to appease some ignorant city wallies who do not care about anyone outside of their little city cafe group.

  10. BushFriend 20 June 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    I find the ignorance and the lack of good will in this blog shocking. The 4corners program was biased and lacked any concept of balance. There is strong evidence that the film was paid for and the violence perpetrated by Animals Australia which has form on misrepresentation and outright lies. It is disgraceful that you would take such an ignorant and illinformed piece of sensationalist TV as gospel without finding out that it was not in any way accurate. The ramifications of this type of white racist rantings against another culture are the worst of the colonialist past. My ancestors would roll in their graves as at your ignorance and I pity you as you consider yourself as well informed but your comments show the lie that to be. The Australian Labor Party has shown itself to have a definite fascist streak by this appalling lack of judgement.

    Perhaps if you decided to sell all your assets to assist the animals I might take you seriously. Somehow you think it ok to accuse Australian producers of crimes with no evidence and no trial. Shame Shame Shame. Since when do political lobbyists like AA and RSPCA present themselves incorrectly as ‘independent’ when they are advocates for no trade animal trade anywhere and closing down all the industries.

  11. John B 19 June 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the elephant in the room: that being the fact that if we stop the trade for much longer, Indonesia will just shrug, write us off, and get the required animals from other countries. It happened some years back in Egypt, and apparently now India is waiting in the wings to pick up the trade if we are gutless enough to continue with it. We cannot dictate to other countries. We can advise, we can suggest, but we are a tiny nation and matter little on the world stage, certainly far less than most Australians think we do. the absolute most we can do is try and educate them, but just dropping out of the trade will mean a powerful country will just turn to other more reliable suppliers and change nothing.
    Just because most countries see animals as mobile food instead of humans in fur coats, doesn’t mean we can change thier ways overnight. Processing the meat here isn’t the answer either. Many indonesians don’t have access to refrigeration and prefer fresh meat from the so-called wet markets anyway. They also will not buy packaged meat if they do not know for a solid fact it hasn’t been treated to suit thier religious standards. Not to mention that people in those areas are brought up from a young age to slaughter animals for food, and see absolutely nothing abnormal about slitting an animals throat or chopping off a chickens head…things that, by the way, were and still are perfectly normal in a lot of rural areas in Australia.
    It is absolutely pointless to ruin our industry and put thousands of people out of work just to prove a philosophical point, especially when the trade will just continue from somewhere else. Do we sit back and smugly say “Well yes, it still goes on, but at least we aren’t involved”?
    Try shutting down overnight any other industry in the country employing thousands and worth more than $300 million a year and see how people react.
    A little more harsh reality and less soft-hearted idealism is needed in the real world of international trade matters like this.

  12. Ruth Ostrow 19 June 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Then what? Ban dogs because they bite people? Then what? Responsible cat owners put bells on their cats and keep them in at night which is when most of the hunting happens. I do. Just like responsible dog owners have to keep their dogs on leashes and safe from harming the public. You can’t have rules for one species and not another.

  13. Ruth Ostrow 19 June 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    As I explained, the original practice was carried out when the animal was “free” in ancient times, or even centurites ago, not the environment of the abbatoirs of today. Now these deaths are carried out in horrific circumstances that no religion or humanitarian concern should pardon. There should be a review of how to stick to the letter of the Biblical Law in these changed times, which always always was written with the intention of being compassionate to the animal.

  14. Ruth Ostrow 19 June 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Thanks Susy, very useful to have phone numbers and contacts!

  15. Susy 19 June 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Thank you for this Ruth – I am thrilled to know that literally many hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions for the banning of live animal exports. This industry has been scandal ridden for decades. I recall doing some voluntary work for RSPCA in 1995 when a live export ship was abandoned/on fire at sea -and the crew as well on these ships have dreadful lives. NZ has banned its live animal exports and now exports frozen Halal meat. So many horror stories related to this trade have come and gone but ‘the more things change…’ Please everyone ring Federal Parlt. switchboard 02 62 777 111 and leave messages for Fed. politicians or email them before the vote on banning this week. Many of the countries we export to have NO animal welfare laws so why would they change without an RSPCA/AA camera filming them?

  16. Bushkid 19 June 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Writing almost 2 weeks after the 4 Corners expose, some of the truth about the whole meat and livestock industry is emerging. Having grown up in the Queensland bush, and yes on a cattle property where we sometimes killed our own for meat, I find it hard to swallow some of the arguments I have heard from various “sides” in this matter.

    There is only one humane way to kill an animal, and that is to cause the immediate cessation of consciousness right at the beginning of the process, regardless of what other method is employed to make life extinct. That ensures that the animal is unaware that it is in mortal danger or dying. Animals do know, they do feel fear. If we are to eat animals we are obliged to do so humanely. Any “ritual” killing that does not cause the immediate cessation of consciousness in the animal is not humane. Research has shown that a sheep can be conscious for about 30 seconds and a bovine for about 2 minutes even when a very clean, precise throat cut is made with a very sharp knife – not a easy feat even for a fit, healthy and strong individual, especially when done repeatedly on numerous animals. Let’s not forget that even the severed heads of human victims of the guillotine were observed to be “aware” for some time after the event. We know the brain takes some minutes to die from lack of oxygen. If there is awareness there is suffering once mortally wounded – no possibility of argument in this case.

    Please, Ruth, move beyond the Old Testament and into the real, scientific world of the 21st century. Saying a prayer of thanksgiving over the dead body of a traumatised animal does not make it right, nor the killing humane. That’s voodoo, not science.

  17. billycampoven 19 June 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    The thing for me is to create a sustainable world which means a triple bottom line – socially sustainable, environmentally sustainable and economically sustainable. I just can see how a ban on exports is sustainable.

    If the 200,000 people who signed a petition to ban live exports, each pitched in $50, that’s $10million we could use to buy those abbatoirs, bring them up to world class humane standards, implement the community development projects to make the changes sustainable, then transfer the ownership of the meat works back to indo ownership. Make the world a better place, make money doing it, indos don’t lose face, we don’t lose a market, win win. A ban is a lose lose for every one except those who can afford to be on the moral high ground because a tax payer is paying their wages. Reactionism is a dinosaur idea – fighting dinosaurs on the own turf using their rules. Being progressive involves always coming from a position of the triple bottom line. Who will pay the bills when everything is banned and there is no industry?

  18. Robert Ellis 18 June 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Filming slaughter houses in Australia would bring much the same reaction and it was up to the government inspectors we have there to correct this issue.But interesting is how so many of the people on this issue are cat owners(I see you are one Ruth) Many of them let there cats out to kill birds daily.This is a more important issue for Aussies.I want to see the banning of cat ownership in Australia in all but above ground apartments.

  19. Sharon 16 June 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Dear Ruth,

    I’d like to encourage you and all those who want to see a stop to this inherently cruel trade, to attend the capital city rallies this Saturday 12 noon.

    And keep writing to MPs, please.

    If we don’t keep up a sustained outrage this vile trade will be allowed to continue.

    We need to really show them we do care – for the millions of voiceless defenceless animals.


  20. Sharon 16 June 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Dear Ruth,

    I’d like to encourage you and all those who want to see a stop to this inherently cruel trade, to attend the capital city rallies this Saturday 12 noon.

    And keep writing to MPs, please.

    If we don’t keep up a sustained outrage this vile trade will be allowed to continue.

    We need to really them we do care – for the millions of voiceless defenceless animals.


  21. Ruth Ostrow 14 June 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Thanks as always Rob, You always make a valuable contribution to the debate – although i totally support the ban. Taking a stand for ethical behaviour has to start somewhere.

  22. Rob Moore 14 June 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Hello Ruth,
    Been very busy on my site as this story has unfolded. I am like everyone else in that I did not know the workings of this market.

    You and I had a debate about this very topic here a month ago and I am relieved to hear that stunning is acceptable for Halal. Every abbatoir that I have been through stuns and the animal is totally unaware of its fate.

    I am disgusted at the cruelty as are 99% of the suppliers up there. We don’t know what we don’t know and if this new exposure were to bring a major restructure and say stunning became mandatory – well everyone is ahead.

    The kneejerk banning which a lot of your supporters would want is like blowing your own leg off- help noone or any animals as they will just get them else where.

    MLA (public servants- not producers friends) are the culprits for turning a blind eye for the last 15 years!

  23. Kate 10 June 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Yep, you’re right, Ruth – we’d much rather have hormone-free meat – well, I would anyway. And good on you exposing the drug companies slinking behind the benign soounding “Animal Health Alliance”. It seems more often that things are not as they first appear and few are willing to admit it. The story of The Emperor’s New Clothes seems to gain more relevance every day!

  24. Ruth Ostrow 10 June 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Halal killing is not a cruel practice if done properly as dictated in the Old Testament which I have studied for many years. It is supposed to be the most compassionate way of killing. If this isn’t happening then it is the way it is being carried out in modern abbatoirs which are hideous hideous death camps. But the ritual killing if done according to the written law as it was intended was meant to be carried out was with the spiritual aim of honoring the animal by putting it to death compassionately. There are also prayers of thanks made over the animal, and other forms of honoring and acknowlegement of one creature giving up its life for another. I don’t dismiss this sort of blog comment bringing to attention the practices in modern abbatoirs, as long as all my readers are aware that Halal practice isn’t itself cruel rather if your points are correct then it indicates the loss of a tradition which was by its creators aimed at being kind — and clearly were meant to be carried in farming areas, in the free paddocks, so quickly that the animal had no idea it was coming and the suffering reduced. Standing in line awaiting death is horrific no matter what method. How any religion can condone it is so far beyond my imagination that I am left numb and constantly grief strickened. ANd its enough to make me an aetheist.

  25. annie 10 June 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Fact – Coles Supermarket sell 70% Halal Certified meat (unlabeled), and they are just one sector of the market that are being overly compliant to Muslims, Islamic compliant religious food is smothering our supermarket shelves.
    Phone Coles on 1800 061 562.
    The religious slaughter of un-stunned animals in some Victorian slaughter houses also needs to be stopped.
    I found the following article on the Internet: How many people would be aware that this cruel ritual slaughter is happening here in Australia? The proponents of religious slaughter are choosing to inflict terrible and unnecessary pain on living creatures every day.

    The Australian Government is turning a blind eye to the barbaric practice of ritual slaughter…

    Media release from StopTAC’s Stephanie Dyer.

    State and Federal governments have been silent on the barbaric practice of ritual slaughter for far too long. There is NO reason or excuse for this kind of blatant cruelty. Ritual slaughter is barbarism; it has no place in our society and must be outlawed now!

    According to the ‘Federal’ Government, the slaughter of fully conscious animals causes pain and distress, but does the Australian government oppose this hideously cruel slaughter ritual? NO, it condones and allows it. The Australian government allows several Australian slaughterhouses to slaughter terrified, conscious animals to satisfy the desires of a few who believe that animals that have not been stunned before death are more pure, but this is not representative of the whole religion of Islam. The Australian Agriculture Minister did not want a report which states that animals slaughtered without pre-stunning can suffer “panic and terror”, to become public. It is recognised that stunning ‘removes’ the hazards of pain and distress from the last stage of the slaughter process, but does the Australian government care if animals suffer a slow, horrific death when their throats are hacked at while conscious? NO, instead it allows this abhorrently cruel ritual slaughter to continue, a practice that should never have been accepted in Australia in the first place.
    Media release from StopTAC’s Stephanie Dyer.

  26. Irene Goldwasser 7 June 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Once again, I totally agree that it is time to stop the disgusting, abhorrent and totally inhumane treatment of animals. However, we should not think that it is only animals who are exported who are treated badly.

    Research has shown that many animals who are raised and slaughtered in Australia do not fare much, if any, better than those sent abroad.

    A society is judged by its ‘humanity’ not only towards its human citizens, but also, towards its animal friends, and the environment itself.

    If we are entirely honest with ourselves, we need action on a whole range of animal issues, including how livestock are treated whilst they are alive, and that slaughter, if and when required, must be done as gently and as painlessly as possible.

    There is little doubt that one day, animal rights will be as great a cause as human rights, although that day may still be a long way ahead of us. However, the time to act is now.

    There needs to be an all encompassing enquiry into the treatment of animals, particularly but not exclusively, livestock. Politicians need to be bombarded with messages day and night – on all sides of the political divide – until they understand that Australians do not support animal cruelty, whether here or abroad.

    Also, we have to consider the fact that there is a price to be paid for protecting our animals and that price may be financial as well as in other ways. We need to understand that nothing great is achieved without some form of compromise.

  27. Ruth Ostrow 7 June 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Thanks for your comments. We are changing the way things are by these sorts of conversations. ALready the Govt is shutting down export to Indonesia to all but those who meet our standards of compassionate handling. PLEASE continue your contributions. People Power.

  28. Friederike Eberhard 7 June 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I have not objections against any religion or even against eating meat in a responsible manner. However, the show about cruelty against cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses has left me sleepless for days. I consider never to travel to Indonesia again until things have changed for the better (I have been to Bali).

    Now that the first hype this show has created has passed, let’s look at a few other options that could improve the fate of farm animals all owver the world, not only the Australian cattle. In my opinion the single most important factor is to spread the message in the islamic and jewish world that halal/kosher slaughter does not require the animal to be conscious, it only requires that the animal is breathing and alive so that the blood drains out completely. I have myself slaughtered many chicken and ducks and always have “stunned” them before, the blood always drained out totally. Stunning means that a low electric current is send through the brain of the animal which then passes out immediately for about a minute. It can also done by other measures. Then then the throat is slit with a very sharp knife. All the blood will drain out. This meat is still halal as there is no blood at all in the animal. The reason why stunning is frowned upon in the islamic and jewish society is the POSSIBILITY that the animal could be killed during stunning. This possiblity however is very very small or non-exixtant. One then could also argue that there always is a possibility that a halal butcher has not acted according to islam and thora. But this is dissmissed by the authorities. Neither Koran nor the Old Testament condone cruelty against animals, for example:

    Proverbs 12:10
    Those who do what is right take good care of their animals.
    But the kindest acts of those who do wrong are mean.

    It should be noted that stunning for halal/kosher meat is compulsory in Australia, however, in most cases the stunning equippment is not used!
    Please sign my petition against halal/kosher slaughter without stunning on:

  29. Caroline 6 June 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Hi Ruth, I couldn’t watch the program myself, but have seen other footage and read reports. I had a collection at work and also started a petition – which every work colleague signed! – to be sent to PETA and on to the Prime Minister. (I’d started this before the 4 Corners program). I think it is important for everyone to continue writing to the Government about this issue. I agree with the previous writer – I’ve written to the Minister for Agriculture several times about live export and have yet to receive a sensible reply.
    I have been vegetarian for 18 months now, and almost vegan – will get there soon.

  30. Geraldine Mackey 5 June 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Hi Ruth, I’ve been reading and enjoying your column for years…and I do believe in “the power of the pen”….so,…please, on behalf of so many of us, write about this issue whenever you can. I ‘ve seldom felt as helpless as I did when watching those cruel and horrific scenes to animals, shown on Four Corners. In a resourceful country like Australia, no one should make a living from such deliberate torture of animals.
    There is no such thing as “manageable” live animal trade.

  31. jenny gold 4 June 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Hi Ruth, l could not watch the four corners epsiode on monday night due to the torture of animals. I have seen this before and we all know that it goes on all over the world and at home here in Australia. What can we do to show the government that we don’t want this happening? Protest? Where do we start to have such cruelty to all animals prevented.

  32. Ruth 3 June 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    I am so angry that Australia is still sending any live cattle overseas to be tortured by our “neighbours”.What an insult against us Australians and to think that our government is still sending the boats full of our beautifull animals absolutely disgusting.The meat could easily be processed here and sent frozen or not at all.

  33. Ruth Ostrow 2 June 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Hi Deborah, I’m not Vegan but if you Google you will find lots of great stuff. I hang out with a lot of Vegan people and they tend to align themselves with the Raw Food movement which I was part of for a long time. Google Dr Gabrielle Cousens from the USA.

  34. Deborah 2 June 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Hello Ruth,
    I am interested to find out more about Veganism is Australia, could you recommend a link or two? -I may be moving in that direction,
    Thank you & Kind regards, Deborah

  35. @pamelapossum 2 June 2011 at 12:27 am #

    I couldn’t sleep after the 4 corners program and contemplated that when the time comes for me to leave this Earth, I will think of the cruelty that makes this world a hell on earth for many creatures, thereby assisting me to pass on without regret. I had previously written to Agriculture minister J.Ludwig in Canberra and was not at all impressed with his response – basically, he does not care about animals at all I’d say from his response and will only act if something seems politically expedient – the worst kind of person surely to have representing us in Parliament. What about morality, decency, compassion? I am so totally disgusted. I feel heartbroken for Lynn White of Animals Australia having exposed herself in person to these dreadful scenes of torture – how traumatised she must be – I am still distressed two days later from seeing the television footage she filmed.

  36. Tony Y 2 June 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Ruth it appears as though I am not too good at articulating my POV and being a defeatist is not something I can ever recall being called.
    There would in my opinion be very few people in this country who are not standing up against these atrocious acts of slaughter, me included. Me saying that an immediate ban on cattle to Indonesia is not the answer is going to fall on deaf ears in your column.
    I have never dealt with Indonesian people and from all reports must be difficult to deal with. The cattle that are currently in their feedlots are quite simply not ours to tell them what to do and where to slaughter them and they will tell us where to go if we force them unless there is some international law we could call upon. Indonesia does have laws for animal protection according to the Indo official but has no penalties if those laws are broken, go figure that out!
    It is surely the next load of cattle ,no matter the cost to the cattle industry that we can put the conditions on and physically oversee that they are humanely treated and push the Indonesians into the 21st century assuming they will agree to stringent conditions as a condition of sale.
    You digressed to mention greenhouse omissions so here is some news from a few days ago. The CSIRO has new research that shows northern Australia’s Brahman cattle
    fed a wide range of tropical grasses emit up to 30% less methane than previously determined.
    Ghandi and Martin Luther King may have taught us a compassionate society is created by a few good men saying no but where are these good men when it comes to the atrocious acts in Indonesian jails against our fellow man.

  37. Ruth Ostrow 1 June 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Yes Luba, we can only do peaceful resistance on our own patch of earth but sometimes a small courageous stand can change the world

  38. Luba 1 June 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    After 18 years of live animal export to Indonesia and countless Australian experts/advisers/consultants – and this is the situation today!!! We may not be able to change things in another country but we can choose how we treat our own livestock. We must stop live animal export.

  39. Luba 1 June 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    After 18 years of live animal export to Indonesia and countless Australian experts/advisers/consultants and this is the situation today!!! The comments from the Four Corners programme were that “Stunning is not Halal and the animal being unconscious is wrong”. We may not be able to change things in another country but we can choose how we treat our own livestock. Where are ‘civilised’ politicians with back-bone to take action on this cruel and barbaric export trade. We must stop live animal export.

  40. Cindy 1 June 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be a great idea if we gave ALL our cattle going to ANY abbatoir names like Dudley, Arthur and Brian. Suddenly they become more than pieces of meat, they become animals capable of feeling fear and terror. Eat with compassion, go vegetarian!

  41. Ruth Ostrow 1 June 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Hi Tony we want to hear from producers and farmers so please tell your colleagues, its an important debate that needs airing. I personally think you POV is defeatist. People must stand up against atrocity out of humanity. Just because there are fascists killing and imprisoning people doesn’t mean our morality allows us to do that here. Its the same logic. We do it because other people do anyway, same logic with greenhouse omissions, China is doing it so whats the point of us cutting back. But as Gandhi and Martin Luther King have taught us, a compassionate society is created by a few good men saying NO,

  42. Tony Y 1 June 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Already, as an animal producer in Australia I feel a personal attack from you Sharon. You might think it’s feigned ignorance but I’ve listened to many producers in the last couple of days who are equally as angry as you.
    I heard an official from Indonesia today( his name was too foreign to me to write or even repeat) on ABC radio, they are also angry ,at Australia. When quizzed about whether they could purchase cattle from another country, sure was his reply and he went on to name many countries. If we ban the trade now it is my fear that cattle from other countries may meet the same fate .
    All this and don’t bother sparing a thought for the innocent family farmer in Australia caught in the crossfire.
    Sorry to disappoint you Sharon but there are plenty of young Aussie blokes willing to work at an abattoir in the bush.

  43. Kirst 1 June 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    I have watched the Four Corners report, sickened, outraged, disgusted but above all else saddened. How on earth this can be occuring in this day & age just completely stupifies me, there needs to be a system that ensures that ALL Australian cattle is slaughtered in a humane way, in saying that after watching that I am seriously contemplating becoming a vegetarian.

  44. Sharon 1 June 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Time for animal producers, the MLA and ultimately the politicians to stop hiding behind feigned ignorance and excuses about religion or “culture”. Show enough moral courage to completely ban this trade, now.

    Whilst banning this vile trade is a priority, we should also keep in mind that most people who haven’t been totally desensitised would also find a visit to any of our own abattoirs confronting. I’ve been vegan for 10 years.

    I wonder just how many Aussies would happily take up an abattoir job?

    To quote Paul McCartney “If slaughterhouse walls were made of glass, most people would be vegetarian.”

  45. david 1 June 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    The trouble is that the slaughter houses in Indonesia are not properly trained in halal killing. Halal like kosher requires that the animal is killed with a sharp knife to the throat and one slice is enough to kill the animal pretty much painlessly if done by a trained person. In Australia they are all well trained. The halal and the koshers slaughtermen, so the animals do not suffer. It would be in Indoneia’s interest to train their staff properly. The correct thing to do , instead of all the hype would be to contact the Indonesian government to ask them to get properly trained staff overseen by professionally qualified mullas who understand the correct way to kill animals according to halal methods. The way they were killed and treated in the 4 corners program was definetely not the halal way to slaughter animals. Education is the key!!!!!.

  46. jo 1 June 2011 at 12:48 am #

    I was sick to the stomach watching that. If human beings are defined by how they treat their animals then it will not be a bad thing the day Nature rises up and destroys us.

  47. Ruth Ostrow 1 June 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Hi guys thanks for tuning in. Its 12.30 at night and I didn’t think anyone was up. But I decided to give us a space because there are so many of us who want to say something about what we saw and out of respect for those animals who are slaughtered so brutally. I also want to provide a venue for farmers, many of whom were similarly outraged, but who need to earn their livelihood from their stock. How can we work together as a community to ensure animal welfare is a national concern?

  48. Sloan 1 June 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Yes, tomorrow the anger. Tonight the grief, and guilt for what our species does, and how most of us remain too preoccupied to care.

  49. Mary 1 June 2011 at 12:31 am #

    I hope you get a lot of letters Ruth. I am outraged but like your first writer of the evening, I don’t even know what to say. I think we’re all in shock. The anger will come later. Thank you for providing this space and I will write more once I’ve had a chance to digest the footage we all saw on the ABC last night.

  50. Matt 1 June 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Ruth I want to be the first to speak out since you’ve taken the trouble to give us this space. It is late at night and perhaps your conscience is keeping you up as mine is having watched this heartbreaking show. There are no words I can say. Just please register one human beings profound apology to these creatures we have so tortured and maimed.

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