WAV Comment – see our other recent post on this issue:
It’s been weeks since our Investigators returned home from their deployment for the Festival of Sacrifice, and I just wanted to drop you a quick line to once again convey how grateful I am to you.
I am now able to speak to you about what we found in Indonesia as this investigation was made public through the media this week.
Because of your support, we have again been able to document and expose the brutal treatment and slaughter of Australian cattle in Indonesia, and lodge a legal complaint with the Department of Agriculture.
I won’t go into detail within this email, because I know that many of you prefer to be spared. But if you would like to read about what our Investigations Unit documented, you can do so in this media article, published yesterday.
It’s been eight years since I stood in a slaughterhouse in Indonesia and watched, with abject horror, the treatment that Australia’s live export industry had knowingly been supplying Australian animals to. I know for many of you, the images of one terrified animal who stood trembling as he watched his friends butchered around him, remain with you to this day.
‘Tommy’, the gentle Australian steer who we saw trembling in an Indonesian slaughterhouse in Indonesia, 2011.
What ‘Tommy’ endured — along with so many others — epitomised in the most tragic of ways, the callousness of Australia’s live export trade. The willingness of exporters to supply animals to brutal treatment was starkly exposed through that investigation, resulting in the then Gillard government implementing a new system of live export regulation.
The fact that Animals Australia has since had to police this ‘regulatory system’ in importing countries, is something that a charity should never have had to do. But I am proud that we have not shied from embracing the risks and challenges to be there for our animals, and call exporters to account. We’ve only ever been able to do this because of your support.
Once again, the critical nature of our investigative work is revealed through our recent evidence documented in Indonesia. Had we not been there, no-one would know that Australian cattle had been subjected to terrible ‘roping slaughter’ in the basement of a construction site.
Had we not been there, the exporter responsible, International Livestock Exports — recognised in the industry as the ‘cattle arm’ of the disgraced Emanuel Exports — would not now be under investigation and facing serious sanctions.
Had we not been there, the industry could have continued to operate, business as usual, as a law unto themselves.
So this is why I felt compelled to write to you today. Because had it not been for your caring and your generous support of our Investigations Unit, our team could not have been in Indonesia.
That such cruelty continues reveals exactly why live export, in its entirety, should end. Every piece of evidence we gather, whether in Indonesia, Kuwait, Vietnam or Egypt, continues to build that case.
There’s a reason why nearly a decade later, we still think about Tommy. For many people, coming face to face with him was the first insight they’d ever had into the fear and distress of animals raised and killed for food — the first time they were able to witness their desire not to be harmed.
Thank you for entrusting us with your faith and support and allowing us to dedicate every single moment to them. Thank you so much for your kind and generous heart.
Because of you, we can dedicate every day to Tommy and friends, and creating the kinder world that they so need and deserve.
Lyn White AM