Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of live cattle and sheep, often to predominantly Muslim countries where religious and cultural rules on meat consumption insist that animals are slaughtered by having their throats cut while still alive. Some Muslim authorities assert that stunning animals before killing them (as happens in most Western abbatoirs) does not offend against these rules, but many abbatoirs in countries like Turkey and Indonesia do not yet use stunning.

Pressure groups in Australia, and some politicians, argue that live exports should be banned, as transporting the animals long distances can often cause unnecessary hardship, and it is impossible to adequately police overseas killing  of animals to ensure it is carried out humanely.

They also argue that Australian farmers, and the country as a whole, would do better if the animals were slaughted here, and exported in an added-value packaged form overseas.

Moves to phase out the live export trade failed to pass the Australian parliament yesterday, defeated by the Labor and Liberal party’s combined votes.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the case, this new video from Animals Australia sharpens the focus on the debate. I must warn you, unless you are remarkably hard hearted, I think it is very distressing. But I also think it should be seen as widely as possible, and that this is a debate we have to have, which is why I have linked to it. Discussion welcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mODf8OIUniw&feature=player_embedded

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