Live Cattle – a crucial test of collective wit.

Australia’s response to film of what appears to be cruel practices employed in the Indonesian meat processing sector is looming as a critical test of urban Australia’s capacity to exercise a majority mandate over the regional minority.  And the core of that test will be the extent to which the full circumstances behind the disturbing footage is investigated.

The footage was, after all, obtained by Animals Australia, an organisation that has a long and well documented history of partial and fragmentary respect for the truth. And the ABC, on which it was broadcast, is little better.  True to form,  much of the Indonesian cattle story just doesn’t add up.
For a start we don’t know the context in which the footage was obtained. Clearly, the owner or manager who gave someone permission to film on their premises would only have done so if they believed that the film crew was from an organisation other than Animals Australia and could be trusted to act in good faith.  They would also have believed that film of their workplace practices would not be detrimental to their company.

They obviously believed their own processes were neither cruel nor in breach of existing Indonesian anti-cruelty law passed more than 18 months ago.  They would hardly grant permission at all if this was not the case.

And no doubt the management instructions to the workers on the floor would have been to accommodate the film crew as much as possible.

And once filming had begun and a number of fully compliant kills had
taken place the workers would have become accustomed to modifying their normal practices for the camera. And from then it would only have taken a seemingly innocent question from the activists like, “what does the animal do if you don’t kill it quickly”? to give them the footage they were after all along.

These workers, all on less than $2 a day, would most likely have simply complied with the
strange foreigner’s request as per the directive from management. For all we
know those workers may well have gone home to their family with a story about the
awful cruelty they had to inflict on a poor animal to please some weird

One thing we can be certain of is that if AA had any more distressing footage they would have used it. So we can also be certain that the footage is much worse than the norm.  There is ALWAYS more to ANY issue raised by the animal nutters. And there is an urgent need to examine the footage to determine if there is any deceptive editing. This could include instances where the one action has been filmed on two cameras and then spliced together to make it appear as if the ordeal was drawn out.

At one stage Animals Australia and their network of blog trolls claimed that the crowding of live animals on the ships was terribly inhumane, until someone pointed out that sheep and cattle were herd species who take great comfort in crowding together in unusual circumstances.

Then they claimed that the supposedly high mortality rate on the journey to foreign shores was more evidence of inhumane treatment. But then someone pointed out that, in terms of passenger miles, it was no different to the mortality of pensioners on P&O cruises.

And of late we have the moronic claim that this whole live animal trade could be replaced by Australian meat processing facilities, as if our unemployed would flock to the top end to work for the $15 an hour that has already rendered many meat processors uneconomic in the domestic meat market, let alone the Indonesian one.  And of course, none of them would ever aspire to any of the mining jobs just down the road paying four or five times more with much better conditions.

The reality is that a substantial shareholding in these small processing facilities could be bought for just a fraction of the Meat and Livestock Authority’s annual levies.  Apparently, the brilliant minds who govern us are the only OECD officials who have never heard of vertically integrated marketing.  And why on earth the boxes were not already aligned with Mecca to save all that drama we will never know.

Urban Australia needs to get right to the bottom of this issue, and examine all the options before passing a rash, “ban the lot”, judgement on a complex issue.

There is a very real danger here that urban life won’t even imitate art. It may just imitate the worst kind of trash “reality” TV where a procession of pathetic vacuoids have been conditioned for no other response but elimination. Where an entire industry with $330 million in sales, $900 million in wages and more than a $billion in economic multiplier effect, gets voted off the economy with nothing more than a declaration that “the tribe has spoken”.

And if that is the case then urban Australia will have abrogated its obligations under the social contract with the regional minority.  They will have squandered their right to exercise a majority mandate on regional Australia’s behalf.

[UPDATE 10/06/2011]

What more can one say? Gillard applied the ban based solely on a single piece of unexamined film from a clearly biased source without any additional testing of evidence. A whole industry has been extinguished on the basis of trial by media and a totally disproportionate penalty has been imposed on people who have done nothing wrong to animals they no longer owned under a completely different legal jurisdiction.

Can there be a single scrap of doubt left that regional Australian’s have a very questionable future under continued metrocentric political domination.  Readers should read through the preamble to the American Declaration of Independence and compare the malgovernance that they fought a war to rid themselves of in the 1770’s and then compare it to what is taking place here in Australia in 2011.    Ian Mott.


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A site for informed discussion on the strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities to be gained for regional Australians through the formation of new states within the commonwealth.
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