Thursday 19 January 2012

Animal abuse, Australian hypocrisy

Many thousands of people visualise a barren, pointless life without animals. 

Others see them as commodities, food, or problems to be overcome, with resultant infliction of unimaginable cruelties on living, breathing muscles, tissue and nerves that sense and react to stimuli in the same way as they do in the human body.

Treatment of animals in Asian countries in particular remains in the dark ages. Science has produced remedies and treatments for every known human ailment and requirement, yet many Asian stalls remain stocked with animal-derived substances, all peddled under the long-outmoded terms Tradition, and Heritage.

Both terms support perpetuation of horrific animal abuses. Skinning dogs and cats alive, slicing off living sharks fins, knocking out nest and chicks of breeding bird colonies, poaching the remnants of the African rhinoceros, trapping tigers for every part of their bodies, and keeping bears in cages the same size as themselves with open holes in their bellies for up to 20 years, are just some 'traditional' practices carried out in Asia in this so-called enlightened 21st century.

Powerful campaigns are underway to resolve the most extreme forms of animal cruelty. But heritage and tradition are difficult words to squash, and here in Australia they are often used to support horrendous practices that otherwise might well put the perpetrators in jail. The barbaric treatment of cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses, mutilation of ducks for 'sport' during recognised open seasons, clubbing to death of kangaroo joeys as by-catch for the meat trade; hacking off of giant sea turtles’ flippers and leaving them to die in the sun; battering wallabies to death with clubs; tossing living turtles, goannas and echidnas onto hot coals; golf swing practices on frogs and toads; rendering animals homeless by forestry practices and property burn-offs; mutilation and horrific deaths by ‘traditional’ barbed-wire fences; maimed and dying animals left by the roadsides; the relentless ongoing torment of flying-foxes - all are tolerated practices, many under the terms tradition and heritage, and all overlooked, and/or supported, by Australian legislation and government agencies.

Sadly all of which make Australia one of the most hypocritical nations on earth.

P Edwards