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Martina Patterson (June 16, 2020 at 01:17 PM)
LIVE EXPORT: Today’s court outcome (Video)
Shawn, I so wish I was contacting you with better news…
Despite the extraordinary efforts of our legal team, who worked day and night over the past three days, we were unable to get the exemption granted to ship 50,000 sheep to Kuwait overturned by the Federal court.
I know how you will be feeling at this news. The deepest sense of injustice, of betrayal. The northern summer ban that was introduced to ensure exporter interests were never again put before the welfare of animals, has failed at its first test.
As you know, commitments were made, only to be broken. Laws enacted, only to see exemptions granted to those laws. Sheep who should be spared, will now be shipped into the extreme heat of a Middle East summer.
I’m sure you may be wondering, how did things go so fundamentally wrong? The answer to that question will start a conversation that animals desperately need us to have.
It would be easy to blame the regulator or the government or the exporter — but their actions are based on and influenced by one underlying factor — a legal system that denies animals raised for food the same compassion, moral consideration and legal protection as other animals in human care.
As a result, vulnerable beings who feel fear and pain are decreed property, items to trade, lives to be bought and bartered, warm bodies to be brutalised.
This cannot be allowed to continue. For when profits have the power to impair our compassion — it is not only animals who suffer, our own humanity is violated and diminished.
Throughout history there have been ‘moments in time’; occurrences that are so at odds with our truth, with our humanity, with our potential, that we are forced to look within and ask, ‘how did we come to this place?’ Inevitably, the answers sought and found fuelled needed transformation.
Let us commit to making the decision to grant this exemption and ship these sheep to Kuwait one of these ‘moments in time’. Let it be the catalyst for a conversation that as a society we need to have — as to how deeply and profoundly programmed we are to think about animals raised for food differently — and the consequences animals bear as a result.
These sheep were not considered by authorities for who they are — vulnerable beings whose well-being is dependent on human kindness and consideration. They became numbers on applications and on spread sheets.
In the granting of this exemption, we will never see a more striking example of the legacy of an inherited belief system that deems animals who are eaten as less deserving of our care and protection.
My commitment to these animals and to you today Shawn, is to work even harder to create the shift in human thinking needed to bring all animals into our circle of compassion.
While today has been a difficult day, it makes me ever more grateful for your faith and support, for your presence in this world, and for the compassion and kindness that resides in your heart.
We can and will pave that pathway to a kinder world together.
Onwards dear friend.
For the animals,
Lyn White AM
Director of Strategy
P.S. We know that many politicians are opposed to live export and would be mortified by todays decision. We’ve also seen how public support gives MPs the courage to speak out, even when it’s against their party policy. So please take a minute to contact your MP today ( secure.animalsaustralia.org/ta… ) — whether it is to express your disappointment at this decision or to begin a deeper conversation about animals — your time and effort to do so would be greatly appreciated.
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Martina Patterson (June 16, 2020 at 12:32 PM)