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Analysis and Comment (26)

Brazil’s cattle herd is the world’s second-biggest - and welfare standards are on the up. Zeloneto/Wikimedia Commons

Tighter rules mean Brazil is now kicking goals on animal welfare

While Brazil’s footballers have failed spectacularly to live up to expectations, there are other areas where the country is quietly exceeding them. Perhaps surprisingly, Brazil’s rapidly improving animal…
After a tip-off from an Egyptian vet, Animals Australia sparked a government investigation into what an industry leader described as “horrific” slaughtering practices in Egypt last year. Tougher rules have now been promised. Animals Australia

Live animal export rules are useless without enforcement

Australia looks set to resume exporting live sheep to Iran, after Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce this week flagged the end of a 40-year ban following Iran’s Islamic revolution. Flanked by the chief…
Once animals leave Australia, we have limited control over what happens to them. AAP Image/Animals Australia)

Can live animal export ever be humane?

Last week, video footage of animal cruelty kicked off yet another live export controversy. The footage appeared to show not just confronting and inappropriate animal treatment, but the likely movement…
Indonesian ownership of Australian cattle is a step in the right direction for both countries, but welfare still needs work. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Indonesians can buy our land but shouldn’t ship live cattle

Australians should not be alarmed but pleased at the current Indonesian proposal to invest in cattle production in the north of Australia. It demonstrates a renewed confidence in Australia’s ability to…
The live export watchdog has relied on animal welfare groups to make complaints. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Assessing Australia’s regulation of live animal exports

When Four Corners first broke the story of cruelty to Australian cows in Indonesian abattoirs, the Australian government initiated an “acceptable Exporter Supply Chain Assurance system” to better manage…
Cruel slaughter of Australian animals in countries where abattoir workers face poor economic conditions can only be stopped with the long-term ban of live exports. Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik

Cattle slaughter in topsy turvy land

In Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree, Jo, one of the child adventurers, has a spell cast upon him that forces him to walk upside down on his hands in Topsy Turvy land. Jo survives the ordeal as most humans…
The decisions we make about animal welfare are important; even more so if we’re welfare researchers. Jannes Pockele

Animal welfare researchers must be honest about motivations

Many people take the Christmas and New Year period as a time to ponder how they can be a better person. We make resolutions about eating better, doing exercise, being kinder or slowing down. We all know…
Phasing out live exports may be the only way to save Australia’s northern cattle industry. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

A ten-year plan to phase out live animal exports

Temporary bans on live cattle and sheep export have undermined confidence in the industry, driving property prices down and diminishing banks' willingness to lend for long-term improvement. If the industry…
Piecemeal solutions to welfare won’t do - we need a long-term view. Ian Sanderson

Animal welfare: an urgent issue with a long, slow solution

The government has been plagued by animal welfare problems over the last two years. The biggest issue so far has been the mistreatment of our livestock overseas. Most recently, two shipments of sheep to…
Consumers have an image of animal agriculture which is getting further and further from the truth. State Records NSW

Latest animal export exposé reminds us to steer clear of factory farming

It has once again been left to an advocacy group, Animals Australia, to highlight the cruel practices involved in cattle slaughter in Indonesia. Under new rules put in place by the Federal Department of…
Australians' strong concerns about animal welfare put us at odds with Asian live export markets; but sharing our food production technologies gives us a potential advantage. AAP

Terms of trade: live cattle exports in the Asian Century

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Today, Professor Clive Phillips takes…
Why do we care so much about the origin of brutalised cows? librarianidol/Flickr

Live exports controversy: what makes a cow Australian?

New footage recently aired on ABC has again brought to our attention the plight of cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. Scenes of cattle being poked, stabbed, and slaughtered without appropriate equipment has…
Our conduct has damaged relations with Indonesia and has serious implications for the environment. AAP

Australia owes Indonesia an apology over live export calamity

Indonesia’s decision to cut live cattle imports from Australia is the clearest example yet of the significant and long-lasting damage that June’s export ban did to relations with our nearest neighbour…
Beef processing contributed to Cargill’s $US2.7 billion in earnings this year. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: Cargill

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, The University of Queensland’s Clive…
The law treats animals as merely “property” – but is this out of step with community expectations? AAP

When it comes to live animal exports, the law is a strange beast

Last week’s resounding defeat of two private members bills seeking to end live animal exports demonstrates the myopic vision Australian politicians have for the country’s agricultural industry. This is…
Australians don’t know enough about Indonesia to judge its farming practices. AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

Why being a better neighbour could ease our biggest political problems

We need to learn more about the countries we are exporting livestock to, or swapping refugees with. Two recent publicly-funded television documentaries have revealed just how little most Australians know…
So-called “humane” industry slaughter practices need to be investigated more carefully. AAP

Our food industry practices don’t add up

One of the more welcome results from the furore around Australia’s involvement in live animal exports is that some Australians appear to have started rethinking their food choices. Last month, The Age…
20% of people who saw the footage of animal abuse thought it was too graphic. AFP/Ho/ABC/Four Corners

Why we need an independent view of live animal exports

The decision by Animals Australia/RSPCA to allow their footage of slaughter of cattle and sheep overseas raises interesting questions about how animal welfare should be managed in this country. Was it…
Livestock may also face mistreatment without leaving Australian shores. AAP

Live animal export problems begin in our own paddock

Throughout the heated debate around live animal exports over the past week, there has been an implicit assumption that the mistreatment of Australian cattle only ever begins after the animals have left…
It may be “humane”, but is it ethical? Virginia Zuluaga/Flickr

What a pain: the ethics of killing animals humanely

Does a painless death harm an animal? Is it wrong to painlessly kill an animal? These questions go to heart of the ethics of meat eating and humane slaughter, yet they have been largely absent in most…
Before blaming Indonesia, we must reform the way we fund livestock industry research. AFP Photo/SUTANTA

Animal exports: how the industry controls research to shut down debate

Now that the Federal Government has finally succumbed to public pressure and suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia, it is worth considering why we were so caught off guard by the shocking revelations…
Indonesian abattoirs should agree to stun cows before they’re slaughtered. AAP

Live animal export ban doesn’t go far enough

The Federal Government’s move to ban live cattle exports to a handful of Indonesian abattoirs will not, in the long term, end the inhumane slaughtering practices revealed in Monday’s Four Corners report…
The trip to Indonesia is just the start of a horrifying journey for cattle. AAP

Live animal export: when others do the killing for us

Last night, the ABC’s Four Corners brought the horror of the Indonesian slaughterhouse into Australian living rooms. The government’s response to images of cattle being hacked to death, having their tails…

Research and News (2)