The images in the following program are highly sensitive and may be as disturbing to viewers as they were to us. However, we have to show the truth about cruelty to animals, praying that you will help to stop it.

We can’t allow this to happen. And we have to say, “No” as a nation. It’s not only fighting for our animals, it’s fighting for our humanity.

This is the Stop Animal Cruelty series on Supreme Master Television. This week we’ll examine the live export trade, in which millions of cows, sheep and goats are transported overseas by ship for slaughter. In Australia, this barbaric business is huge with millions of livestock sent to the Middle East and Southeast Asia each year. More than six-million live cattle have been shipped to Indonesia alone since the trade began 20 years ago.

Australia exports a lot of live animals for slaughter in other countries. There are around four million sheep each year go to the Middle East and about 600,000 cattle go to Southeast Asia and to the Middle East as well for slaughter.

Animals die, certainly many sheep die each year on the ships because many of them don’t recognize the pellet food that they are provided with. It’s called inanition but it means starvation and salmonellosis, that is an infection, so they die on board.

Every year, more than 500,000 innocent Australian cows are jammed into ships where they begin the long voyage to a violent death. Along the way, hundreds die from stress, pain and fear and others succumb to illness prior to their arrival. The cows who do survive are subjected to slaughtering methods that are extremely gruesome and beyond inhumane.

In March 2011, members of the non-profit animal-welfare group, Animals Australia, went to Indonesia and filmed the killing of bovines from Australia in 11 randomly selected abattoirs. Their footage revealed that cows were not stunned before death. Instead, the animals were kicked, dragged or pushed onto the killing floor, brutally flipped on their sides, and then murdered by having their throats slashed. Lying in pools of their own blood, they suffered slow, agonizing deaths, while fully conscious.

It’s worth noting that in 2003, New Zealand rightly, on moral and economic grounds, banned the (live export) trade.

And why did they ban it?

The New Zealanders were absolutely outraged when they discovered that their sheep were being cruelly slaughtered in Middle Eastern countries.

They can hit rough seas. They can hit really humid weather, hot weather, obviously to the Middle East and a lot of animals can die as a result of pneumonia, (or) salmonellosis. It’s really bad. There’s a lot of dust in the air because of the dry, pelletized food and that can go into the animal’s eyes and animals can go blind and they’re also standing in their own feces for the entire journey. It’s a trip to hell. It’s terrible.

In May 2011, investigators from Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC’s) Four Corners television program also filmed the utterly savage treatment of cattle from Australia in the Indonesian slaughterhouses previously visited by Animals Australia.

Their footage, which was aired during a Four Corners program on live exports, showed many ghastly scenes, including cows, tied by one foot, slipping and falling on wet concrete and repeatedly smashing their heads. One cow, lying helpless on the floor, was continuously kicked and hit for no reason. In several cases, cows’ eyes were gouged out or their tails broken as workers forced them into slaughter boxes.

What we saw on Four Corners was indicative of what typically happens when our cattle end up in Indonesia. They’re slowly, systematically tortured to death. There’s no other way of putting it. That footage was horrific: eye-gouging, being kicked, hit. Typically the tendons of the legs are cut so that when they are being tortured to death, they can’t actually move away from their torturers. It’s absolutely outrageous.

Dr. Bidda Jones, chief scientist at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Australia who analyzed the video taken stated, “They basically hack the heads off with blunt knifes, causing a lot of distress and pain." ABC’s documentary also revealed the sheer terror of the animals being murdered. One cow, due to a shortage of staff, was forced to stand on the killing floor for several hours before being slain.

The footage I will never forget from the ABC Four Corners program was that footage towards the end, of the black cow trembling uncontrollably as he watched other cows being killed and cut up in front of him. And there was the voiceover from the expert saying that animals like sheep and cows do feel fear.

The Four Corners documentary caused a tremendous public outcry. Millions of Australians called on the federal government to ban the shipping of cattle and other animals overseas for slaughter. The government responded by imposing a temporary ban on live exports to Indonesia at the beginning of June 2011.

However after a month the ban was lifted. Dr. Patricia Petersen, an independent politician organized a “National Day of Action to End Live Export” on June 18, 2011. That day public rallies were held countrywide, with a gathering in the city of Melbourne attracting over 1,500 concerned citizens, activists and government officials.

We've got quite a few kids here as well and that's really lifted my spirits, knowing that kids care so much about animals that they want to be a part of this and show their support. They have made some amazing placards. And we're just getting a lot of support from the public as well who are walking past, and all the cars that are beeping as they go past and waving at us, showing that they're really on board with what we're doing.

And I have been inundated with phone calls and emails from the general public. They contacted Vegan Warriors, wanting to know what they can do to help. A lot of these people aren't vegan or vegetarian. But it certainly opened their eyes to the way that animals are being so inhumanely treated.

I'm here today with my two daughters, and we're supporting a voice for the animals that get exported from our country to other countries, and that are cruelly treated and tortured behind closed doors. And we want it to be recognized and we want this atrocity to stop.

It's made me start to want to go back to being a vegetarian and not eat meat.

I was raised a vegetarian, actually. I ate meat for a little while, but not since I saw that Four Corners program. And I don’t think I’ll ever eat meat again. I’ll go back to being vegetarian.

A 2010 poll commissioned by the World Society for the Protection of Animals shows that an overwhelming 79% of Australians want to see the live animal trade ended.

The trade in live animals is inherently, fundamentally wrong. It’s cruel, and it’s got to stop.

There’s no middle ground with this issue. It just needs to be banned outright. It needs to go down in the history books with the end of slavery. The end of live exports in this country just has to happen.

We need to stop all live export to other countries altogether. I've been contacted by so many people who have never ever had anything to do with animal rights. They want to make their voices heard, and they are asking me what they can do to help. They just wanted me to know that they're supportive. And they've sent e-mails to the government to let them know that they're not going to tolerate the way that we're treating animals.

We want total phasing out of the industry. We know that there’s no moral argument, or economic argument or even environmental argument that can be put forward to support the continuation of the live export trade.

Not only is the live export trade brutally cruel to livestock, it also has a grave impact on Australia’s delicate ecosystem.

There’s no excuse for the devastation that this is causing to our ecological system in the Northern Territory and in Western Australia. The Australian Conservation Association is extremely concerned about the environmental impacts of live export, and they’re concerned about the extent to which cattle are bred in the Northern Territory, and what that’s doing to our country, the northern part of Australia. So in terms of environmental impacts, they are serious. They’re far-reaching. And one could argue that for environmental reasons alone this trade should be brought to a halt.

There are a number of researchers who are actively investigating the negative environmental impacts of live exports, how unnecessary the trade is and why, for solid environmental reasons, it needs to be outlawed.

How can we end live animal exports and shut down the heartless livestock industry forever? In the end, there is only one solution: the widespread adoption of a plant-based diet.

All types of slaughter, whether here or in Indonesia, are inhumane.

I think we’re going to have to look very seriously at our diets. We’re going to have to look at our natural resources such as water, and we are going to have to make some very tough and serious decisions about what we eat and why we eat it. And ultimately, I do think that a move towards veganism is warranted.

The suffering of these animals doesn’t just happen overseas but right here in our own front yard. And it’s clear that all animals suffer in abattoirs, and that the best solution is a plant-based, vegan diet.

We join concerned Australian citizens, animal advocacy groups and government officials in calling for an immediate end to the horrendous practice of transporting and murdering cows, sheep, and goats in unavoidably torturous conditions. We pray that governments everywhere will quickly enact laws that protect the sanctity of all animal life and communities across the globe soon embrace the nourishing and life-affirming organic vegan diet.

For more information on banning the live animal trade in Australia, please visit the following websites:
Animals Australia
Barristers Animal Welfare Panel

Thank you for your presence today on our program. May all beings on Earth forever lead long, peaceful and safe lives under Heaven’s protection.