Valley joins national rally
CLARENCE VALLEY residents, outraged by evidence last week of the clubbing, stabbing and live burials of hundreds of sheep in Pakistan had their chance to protest in Grafton on Saturday.
Rallies were held across the country on Saturday under the message No Ban, No Vote - a message aimed squarely at federal parliamentarians.
The rally was co-ordinated by Animals Australia as a call to ban live animal exports.
The Grafton rally was called by local woman Pam Holmes. As can be seen in the photograph, attendance was relatively low at about 1.30pm, half an hour after the rally began.
Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin has been an outspoken opponent of live exports and activists gathered outside her office in Lismore on Friday in support.
The activists call for Australia to follow New Zealand's lead and return to chilled meat exports only to ensure animals are killed humanely.
Speaking to ABC North Coast, Cherie Imlah of Bonalbo said the government was showing a callous disregard for animal welfare by not acting on this issue.
"New Zealand has banned the export and they haven't gone broke and they virtually live off the sheep's back. If they can do it why can't this government?" Ms Imlah said.
Ms Holmes runs Grafton Animal Rescue and said yesterday she was surprised more people were not familiar with the issue.
She said the Australian Meat Processing Union had joined the call to ban live exports because local processing would mean more local jobs.
The issue rose to prominence a little more than a year ago when ABC's Four Corners exposed cruelty to live cattle exported to Indonesian slaughterhouses.