Animal Welfare, more illegal Israeli settlements, and worrying campaigns against Halal certification

by ray goodlass

Positive response so far to my Op Ed piece about Animal Welfare, but Letters to the Editor may be different.

Bad news on the wider political scene: Israel building more illegal settlements and I’ve finally heard about the online campaign against Halal certification.

Here’s the Animal Welfare Op Ed piece:

Melbourne Cup issues are not isolated incidents

In the past week I have been drawn to stories of animal welfare, one the Melbourne Cup, and the other Barnaby Joyce skiting about a live cattle export deal with China.

Before expanding on that statement I should confess my personal ethical interest, being a card-carrying member of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). .

At the Melbourne Cup one horse died after the race, and another was put down because of a broken leg. It reminds me of that excellent 1969 film, ‘They shoot horses, don’t they? We don’t shoot people because of broken legs. Surely a horse’s broken leg is also not a life threatening issue?

Or do they shoot these horses because it might be too difficult, costly or inconvenient to nurse a horse back to health before putting it out to pasture, if not back to racing? These are not insurmountable problems.

Apologists for the racing industry have tried the hoary old defence that people also die from sporting industries. Of course they do, but humans have choice. Animals don’t.

As Green NSW MP Dr John Kaye said, “Rather than help Racing NSW continue to treat horses as commodities that can be discarded once they are no longer profitable, the NSW Parliament should be responding to community concerns by launching a full and thorough investigation,” Dr Kaye said.

Dr Kaye said: “The NSW Liberal National party is addicted to the tax from wagering on thoroughbred racing. They are in bed with an industry that makes the rich richer at the expense of problem gamblers and often the welfare of many horses.

Now, to live cattle exports. Over the past thirty years Australia has exported more than 160 million animals overseas. More than 2.5 million have died on those voyages alone. Around 20,000 sheep die on ships each year , from heat stress, illness, injury and failing to eat the unfamiliar food on board, before they even reach their destination.

But commenting on live cattle exports to China, Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon said “Instead of working with farmers and the industry to rebuild domestic meat manufacturing, the Abbott government has again chosen to turn a blind eye to the suffering of animals shipped for live exports.

Indeed, an ABARES report earlier this year confirmed that live export pales in comparison to Australia’s boxed meat exports in terms of economic benefits.

In conclusion I end on a note of irony. Rather unthinkingly I won a sweep on the Melbourne Cup, but too late I noticed that the winning horse was being whipped down the straight. I’m told that is to “get the best out of them’, but when did you last see a human athlete being whipped along?

To assuage my ‘guilt by complicity’ I should put my money were my mouth is and donate my relatively meagre winnings to an animal welfare organisation.