08 June 2011

dawn in frosty paddock

(image copyright Ann O'Dyne May 2011. Newborn calves at Navigators, Vic. 3352)
Thank you , thank you dear PM Gillard.

Update 5 days after:
Errol Simper writes in The Australian Business Section:
Four Corners' report on animal cruelty is what journalism is all about ...

'Tony Jones interviewed Meat And Livestock Australia's export manager, Michael Finucan, last Wednesday and must have felt rather as you might after smashing your head against a brick wall for hours. The way Finucan had it, all would be well with a bit more training of Indonesian abattoir people, a bit more community patience and a massive belief in the MLA's honourable intentions.

Jones: "You're talking about sending in trainers to train (Indonesian abattoir) people, yet again. But as we know, Australian trainers from MLA had recently visited two of the worst abattoirs Four Corners filmed at. The worst of them all, the Gudrun abattoir, had six visits by Australian experts like yourself in the previous 14 months. This whole process seems not to have worked at all."

Finucan: "Well, what we've learned is that we need more intense training."

To be fair, Finucan gave viewers no reason to suspect he was anything other than a decent, well-meaning bloke. For all that, you had some empathy with Jones' next interviewee, Bob Katter. Jones: "You've just heard what the industry specialist (Finucan) on the ground is saying. What do you say in response?"

Katter: "Almost every single aspect of that interview filled me with anger, almost every single aspect of it . This person admitted they knew what was going on, that they'd sent people in to have look at this. They've known for years and years about it, and they've done absolutely nothing . . . They've been paid a fortune to carry out things in a toweringly incompetent manner."

Meantime, some will be grateful for small mercies. White, the RSPCA and the Four Corners reporter who somehow did the abattoir story without having a nervous breakdown, Sarah Ferguson
(with nudges of help from Xenophon and independent MP Andrew Wilkie), have at least managed to get the grisly trade in live cattle suspended."

Thank you Errol! and Go Sarah! - dry your eyes, take the sleeping pills, and find a gown for accepting your Walkley Award.

Now the sheep exports ... ?