If you’re in the live export business it’s no news to you that for the last two months there has been a ban on live exports bound for Indonesia. This whole export ban was borne out of the exposé of the abusive treatment of cattle in Indonesia; it’s a safe bet that no one wants cattle to be maltreated in the way it was graphically shown on television. Chances are you’re pretty angry over the ordeal because stopping the inhumanity leads to over crowding of the livestock marooned at port which may cause death due to expense of feeding the some 600,000 head of cattle. This is also coupled with the lack of revenue from the halt in trading. Unfortunately for animal rights groups their ploy to “save the animals” has only brought pain and misery to both man and beast. Many industries outside of livestock management have been affected by this ban including the truck drivers that move the cattle and farmers who grow hay. Dare we suggest, that with reduced farm incomes comes reduced infrastructure spend on steel structures like farm sheds, shelters, fencing etc.
The resentment felt by the people affected by the live export ban is pinned on the actions of the government and in response to the disservice they have been dealt, many of them are joining the “convoy of no confidence”. The convoy of no confidence is an organized mobilization of Australians all around the country converging in the capital city of Canberra in front of Parliament House on August 22nd 2011. Although a lot of cattlemen are en route to the capital to express their grievances over the live export ban, this nation wide pilgrimage of democracy is for all Australians who believe they are being unjustly represented by their current government. The convoy was planned and organized by the “Just Grounds Community” which is an activist group and advocate of free speech and transparency in government. There are 11 convoy rally points all over the country that will tour through many towns gathering support on their way to Canberra.
Unfortunately there are several animal rights groups that applaud the news of the live export ban and call for a permanent ban of the practice. Thousands of activists gathered in Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide to show their support for animals’ rights, convincing the government that the live export ban is something that should be instituted permanently. On three different dates (June 18, 2011; July 30, 2011; and August 14, 2011) they have flooded capital cities all over the country begging for the live export to stop.
Much to the dismay of the animal rights activists the largest exporter of livestock in Australia, Wellard Rural Exports, has been granted permission by the Federal Department of Agriculture to resume its business. 7,000 head of cattle from Wyndham, Western Australia will be loaded onto the state of the art MV Ocean Swagman to depart for Indonesia by the end of this week. Wellard Rural Exports seems to have foreseen the problems of live export and the effect on the livestock;
the MV Ocean Swagman is a highly advanced purpose built vessel for carrying livestock which was launched in 2010. The air circulation systems aboard the vessel swap the air out more than three times the standard on a commercial airliner (110 air changes per hour). In addition to the fresh ocean air that the cattle get there are also two fully qualified stockmen on board to care for the boat riding bovines. Basically, a giant high tech steel shed for stock on water. Okay , well that’s a bit of a stretch…. Wonder if the importers need any new sheds 😉