|The Muldoon Family Photo by Glenn Campbell|
Here is Marie's story:
As you can imagine our lives are in turmoil at present with the suspension of the livestock export trade to Indonesia.
The animal cruelty shown on the 4 Corners program was appalling and came as an enormous shock to us. It is incredibly upsetting to know that any animal could be treated that way. Animal welfare is an intrinsic part of every aspect of our business. We do not condone animal cruelty in any way.
Here are some facts you may not be aware of:
* The animal cruelty shown on the 4 Corners program is not common practise in Indonesian abattoirs processing Australian cattle. (We are learning that some of the footage was up to 5 years old and that Animals Australia may have paid for access to the facilities they visited).
* Some of the abattoirs in Indonesia are modern facilities who stun cattle prior to slaughter. Most of the abattoirs that accept Australian cattle do the right thing and meet international welfare standards.
* Our industry has injected millions of dollars into improving animal welfare. We are the only country in the world that invests in animal welfare improvements off shore.
* We acknowledge there are problems in the Indonesian market but our industry was already taking steps to fix them. We support banning the supply of Australian cattle to rogue operators who are unable or unwilling to meet acceptable animal welfare standards.
* Most Indonesians do not have access to refrigeration which is why they need live cattle. The housewives buy meat daily from the wet market.
* There 100 million Indonesians that live on less than USD $2 a day which is why they don’t own refrigerators.
If there was no way of fixing or preventing the appalling animal cruelty depicted by 4 Corners then we too would support shutting down the trade. However this is not the case. The Australian Government has put the lives of countless cattle families in Northern Australia in serious jeopardy. It is not only cattle families that will suffer, there will be a massive ripple effect .... contractors, trucking companies, fuel companies, small businesses in regional towns... the list goes on....
How any government expects a business / family to survive without an income for 6 -12 months is beyond me. Apart from the fact that they will send most of us broke, they have also hurt Indonesian workers and families that rely on the trade.
The government should not have banned live export to Indonesia. Instead a modified trade should have remained open where it could have been guaranteed that animals were slaughtered to international welfare standards. The Australian Government should have come to the table with their Indonesian counterparts and industry experts to resolve the issues. The issues can and will be FIXED. Banning live export does not stop animal cruelty, instead it will cripple the lives of thousands of families. We shouldn't forget that 70% of cattle processed in Indonesia prior to the ban were not Australian cattle. If we are not in the market, how can we influence change?
If the Indonesians decide to import live cattle from other countries then we could potentially have Foot and Mouth disease in Australia within a few years. This could potentially devastate all livestock industries in Australia, not just live export and not just cattle.
The 4 Corners program has provided an opportunity for both Australia and Indonesia to fast track change in Indonesia. These changes will allow investments in infrastructure and education and in doing so continually improving the care of all livestock. Australia is a world leader in livestock production and as such, why wouldn't we work with developing countries to improve their systems.
Attached are some industry press releases as well as a Letter for 4 Corners written by an industry person. This letter is a MUST READ for all Australians. If you don’t have time to read everything I am sending then make sure you read this one.
Please share this information with your family, friends and colleagues.
Please write or phone your local member to register your support for the Northern Cattle industry.
We truly need your support now.
Here are some media interviews that Mully and I have done which tell our story......
Live export story ABC 730 NT
Sydney Morning Herald
Marie’s interview with Fran Kelly
And here’s the link to Julia Gillard’s interview
Thank you for your support.
Chris, Marie, Jock, Elizabeth & Isabella Muldoon
We hope that you can get behind families like Marie's. Don't choose to accept one side of the story. Eat lots of beef and support the rural industry. Hundreds of thousands of jobs rely on Australia's beef industry. The flow on effects of the live export suspension will be incomprehensible.