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Steph's live ex passion

30 Nov, 2012 03:00 AM
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12
 
Stephanie Coombes.
Stephanie Coombes.

MY NAME is Steph Coombes and at just 23 years old I may just be the loudest advocate in support of the live animal export industry.

On Monday night I replied to almost every single tweet that had the #banliveexport hashtag.

Twitter actually made me take a timeout, as I had exceeded my ‘tweet limit’.

But, I have a confession to make.

Back in high school, I was a member of the organisation Animals Australia, the same organisation spearheading the campaign to ban live animal exports.

So how could an animal loving, city girl go from one extreme to the other on such a complex issue, that so many of us know so little about?

How did I end up working on the boats that take our animals overseas?

A combination of my involvement with the agricultural industry and participating in conversations of change, has opened my eyes and given me the tools to think critically about big issues, and no longer jump on the bandwagon to “like” a Facebook page, send a tweet, or sign a petition, when a strategic advert appears on my screen.

Take the time to really look into the live animal export industry, and I think you will be surprised. Sure, it’s worth a lot of money, sure, it provides a lot of jobs and sure, it underpins the domestic livestock market prices to support our farmers, and while these are very important points, they aren’t the real reason I am so passionate about this industry.

Australia has the highest standards in livestock transport in the world, by far. We have the best livestock, vessels, quality control and implementation of research and development.

What excites me though, is our presence in our destination markets. Australia is the only country in the world, who invests in training and education, infrastructure upgrades and research and development in destination markets. Simply, we spend our money improving animal welfare in overseas countries.

The benefits aren’t limited to Australian livestock grown and processed overseas, but to all livestock in those countries, whether they be imported or local.

There are Australian people who spend each and every day overseas teaching other cultures in how to improve their treatment of livestock, and as you have seen, sometimes people do the wrong thing. Should we punish everyone who does the right thing, for the mistakes of a minority doing the wrong thing, in isolated incidents?

So I ask you, if we ban live export, what will happen to animal welfare standards overseas? If our animals are no longer there, is it no longer our problem? Live export will continue, with or without Australia. This industry is a legitimate and sustainable trade, but I also see it as an opportunity to raise the standards of livestock production worldwide.

We are all looking for permission to believe that we support the “right things”. Don’t look to other organisations with an agenda for permission, take the time, think about it, and make up your own mind.

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READER COMMENTS

the kid
30/11/2012 11:38:03 AM

Thankyou Stephanie! This is action and an advocate that we need as an industry.
Andrew
30/11/2012 9:12:18 PM

Thank you Stephanie. Keep up the great work.
Robyn
1/12/2012 9:43:24 AM

Well done Stephanie. Thank you for putting you experience forward. Your views are valuable
Love the country
3/12/2012 7:36:08 AM

Well done ,Stephanie, education, that's what's needed, imagine feeding the world on veggies.it won't happen. Please keep up your good work.
Dunart
3/12/2012 10:32:15 AM

Truth is the first victim in politics
Dog trainer
5/12/2012 11:05:38 AM

Your comments are interesting but don't convince me. ALL live export should be stopped whatever welfare arrangements are in place. Go back to reading the Animals Australia website?
farmer for 50 yrs
5/12/2012 10:15:01 PM

Dog trainer you have been brainwashed by Animals Australia . Stephanie is right we work with the people who buy our livestock not like other countries who may fill the void if live exports are banned.
Jay newell
11/12/2012 6:40:02 PM

Onya steph..keep up the good work...
Marc Greening
12/12/2012 7:19:22 AM

Exactly right Steph. If Australia was to pull out of Live Export world wide imagine the horrific consequences and the slip in standards. It makes no sense that these un informed organisations dont put funds and resources into the Australian industry to further develop what our industry has in place. These countries need to eat so animals will always be sourced from some markets. Why not the most proactive and best practice industry that is Australia.
Load of crappola from Steph who knows buggerall
12/12/2012 9:30:59 PM

Gee Steph, they could really use your years and years of knowledge of animal husbandry, welfare, handling and slaughter in places like Israel where they routinely abuse and torture AU cattle. Get a grip, youre an ego.
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Good and after all the highly regulated labor supply chain and middlemen costs and other fees
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Can i get a Chinese shearing team working for their money ?So if O.S protection is a subsidy to
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You get the feeling that a whole lot of foreign investors in that part of the world, the great