Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has copped the wrath of yet another big name international celeb. Only this time, instead of warring with Johnny Depp over illegal dog imports, he’s rankled Morrissey with his stance on live cattle exports.
As BuzzFeed Australia reports, the former Smiths frontman has sent a strongly worded letter to the “red faced” Joyce on the eve his final Aussie tour date in Newcastle, asking the Deputy PM to shut down Australia’s live cattle export industry once and for all.
“The horrific cruelty in the live export industry is heavy enough to sink a ship, yet you insist on condemning millions of animals to this fate every year”, Moz writes, adding the cheeky burn: “You can deny it until you are red(der) in the face, but the industry is dying.”
Morrissey goes on to mention live export company Elders’ recent decision to shut down its long-haul cattle trade to Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia — along with the slipping export numbers of both cattle and sheep — as reasons to pull the plug on the $800 million a year industry. He also takes Joyce to task on his Government’s refusal to set up an animal-welfare watchdog.
“Your recent dismissal of the need for an animal-welfare office in your department shows that you are currently on the wrong side of history,” Moz writes.
Quoting his famous song Meat is Murder, the vegan singer then goes on to describe live exports as “the slow boat to hell”.
“Please help pave the way towards a kinder future by putting the live-export industry out of its misery immediately,” he says.
However, despite Moz’s claims, the Department Of Agriculture reckons the live exports system is working.
“The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) itself has said Australia is leading the world in animal welfare and that industry’s investments in improving the implementation of OIE welfare standards has its full and unequivocal support,” a spokesperson says (via Huffington Post).
Following a 2011 Four Corners story exposing the cruel treatment of export cattle, the Gillard Government introduced the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), which requires ships to comply with strict rules on ventilation, drainage and provision of water and food.
However, reports show that some cattle still die of dehydration, starvation or disease before they reach their destinations. And out of those who do survive, some are violently slaughtered.
Horrific footage obtained earlier this month by Animals Australia shows goats and sheep having their throats cut and being left to bleed out in the Middle East and Asia.
Read Morrissey’s letter to Barnaby Joyce below, and catch our review of Moz’s Wollongong show here.
UPDATE 1/11/16: Barnaby Joyce has now responded to the open letter, doubling down on his stance.
Watch: Morrissey – ‘Suedehead’
File Source: BuzzFeed Australia