Everyone should support live export. It is good for farmers and animals alike. In fact, it is vital.
It has been argued that Australia should replace its live exports with frozen goods. That argument fails to recognise that if Australia stopped exporting to these countries, they would source the goods from other countries which fall well short of Australia’s welfare conditions and standards.
Let me take you through the process to allay any concerns:
(Please note the remainder of this article contains episodes of violence that may offend some readers)
Selection and transport
Upon receipt of regulatory permission for each individual voyage, buyers begin sourcing quality livestock from two weeks up to one year in advance. A network of professional buyers work with farmers to ensure they are selected to meet customers’ requirements and the health protocols of the importing country.
The stock are then transported to aggregation points for pre-shipment quarantine, where the condition of the livestock is monitored to ensure they will thrive on the voyage.
At the feedlot the stock are inducted and cared for by professional stockmen. Prior to loading livestock are inspected by both an accredited third party and an official from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, who must issue a “permit to leave for loading” before the consignment can be moved to the dock.
At the wharf each individual livestock is inspected by a government accredited team of independent inspectors before they are loaded on the vessel and cleared to depart. The livestock are then shipped to various locations around the globe.
Australia's shipping fleet is one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world. Automated feed and watering systems, ventilation control and spacious enclosures ensure livestock are shipped to the highest standards in care and safety. This ensures stock arrive fit and healthy at their final destination. The health of all consignments is overseen by an accredited official.
When they arrive at the export destinations, livestock are cared for by trained stockmen in feedlots where they have constant access to food, fresh water and shade while they wait their turn for slaughter.
As demonstrated above, for livestock exports from Australia there is a stringent process for managing livestock with which all exporting companies must comply. This includes:
1. Notice of intent to export
2. Approved load plan and heat stress model
3. National Vendor Declarations Submitted by vendors
· Details of health status, stock description and livestock health treatments.
4. Official inspections of vessel
5. Pre-export aggregation facility licence
6. Livestock inspections by accredited officials:
· Assessment of livestock health and suitability for export.
· Permission to leave for loading granted upon satisfactory inspection.
· Livestock is inspected individually for sickness, injury and suitability for export.
7. Export approval, permits granted, and sufficient feed, water and ventilation are available to the livestock
8. Accredited officials on-board to oversee the welfare of the livestock consignment throughout the voyage.
These standards, along with strict regulation and the industry's commitment to caring for livestock on their voyages overseas, mean that over 99% of Australian livestock arrives fit and healthy at their destinations.
The traditional method of slaughter is to rope and pull down the individual livestock in the middle of the floor but Australian livestock is bigger and much harder to handle than local livestock. In 2000 the industry groups Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp commissioned the design of a metal restraining box. The box is safer because you can secure the livestock in it. If you don’t use the box the meat isn’t as good.
Once inside the box, the farmer’s feet are roped. The door opens and the frightened farmer trips and falls on the wet concrete slab. Through fear they will often bash their heads on the concrete. Buckets of water are thrown on them to make them rear up. Across the room the sound of other farmers hitting the concrete floor reverberates through the abattoir.
Slaughter according to Islamic law requires that the throat is cut with one clean stroke but often it’s done with a rough sawing action. In one example the cut half severs the head but doesn’t kill the farmer. It slides off the concrete slab onto the ground, gets onto its knees, and regains its feet with its throat gaping and blood pumping out. Then it ends up charging towards the handler with its throat cut. To stop it getting up again, the slaughterman slashes the tendon on its right leg.
In another example a farmer slips on the wet faeces-covered floor and breaks his leg. He slumps over a stone pylon. For over 25 minutes the handler goads him to move despite the broken leg. At that point he is in a state of collapse and he should've been slaughtered on the spot. Instead, the worker decided that he would do everything to try and get him to his feet, to drag him in for slaughter. He breaks his other leg, and gouges deep into his nose and eye socket. The farmer would try and get his head away when his eyes were being gouged, but he just can't get to his feet because his leg is broken. The stricken farmer is kicked - altogether nine times. When all else fails they try to put water up his nostrils until they finally realise that he isn't going to get to his feet, before he suffers the most horrendous death. Other farmers look on, shuddering in their restraints at the shocking prospect of their impending demise. Their bowels give way in anticipation.
Due to blunt knives and poor killing technique, the average farmer receives 10 cuts, and some of them up to 33 cuts before it stops struggling and releases its grip on life. According to international rules on slaughter, they should be dead within 30 seconds, but this process can take up to 3 minutes.
Exactly what they are experiencing we don't know as their larynx has been sliced and they can't force breath through their windpipe, but there's a very, very high likelihood that the slaughter is incredibly painful.
Obviously for farmers to be slaughtered humanely, they need to be stunned unconscious first. There has recently been urgent implementation of measures to assure their welfare. For example, there are now 11 Indonesian facilities using stunning equipment!
 This article provides a fictitious adaptation of information contained in here, here, and here, for the purpose of satire.