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Guest Blogger Paul Cox

As my second Guest Blogger, I have posted the full text of an open letter to Dave Hughes by Paul Cox.
The letter is about Dave Hughes support of Animals Australia and the damage they have and continue to inflict on our livestock industries.
I agree with the sentiments expressed in this open letter. 

I would encourage my readers to follow the link to the article published on this story by Colin Bettles Animal Welfare No Laughing Matter and make whatever comment they feel to be right.

Ann Britton

An Open Letter to Dave Hughes.

Hughsie Mateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. You don’t mind if I call you Hughsie do you?
You come across as a bloke who can relate to the average punter. Those same people who have given you a very comfortable living down the years. The ones who now allow you and your family to live the type of lifestyle to which many of us would like to become accustomed. Read on mate because some of those everyday Australians, indigenous and non indigenous may not be that happy to see you when you hit the Territory . It is great you are headed to the Northern Territory to do two gigs. The first in the Alice and then off to Darwin. Really good to see!
I suspect that the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Adam Giles, may want a word with you when you hit Darwin. Before that though you are off to Alice Springs. The Mayor Damien Ryan, who like every outback Mayor and councillor in the Territory has to be across many issues and industries to try to bring prosperity and a higher standard of living to the people they represent might well want a word in your shell like too!

I really hope the two shows go well for you. I am a little worried though. You see mate, the Territory although vast is size has quite a small population. A lot of people in the Territory work in the cattle industries or in jobs at least partially reliant on the cattle industry. I doubt you would find a person in the entire place that does not know someone who works in the cattle industries. Pastoralists, graziers, famers call them what you will, stockmen and women, fencers, transport drivers, mechanics, clerks, vets, big companies and small ones, indigenous cattle operations, family run ” ma and pa ” properties often handed down through the generations. Genuine salt of the earth people .

You spend a lot of time in Melbourne. Some time in London coming up too. Good for you. Great places. Great people too but there is a but mate, the livestock industries don’t rate quite as highly in the everyday lives of people in Melbourne and London as they do for most people in rural and remote Australia. Certainly not as highly as they do in the Territory. Now to be honest with you Dave, you might just cop a bit of flack. See you are known as a vocal supporter of Animals Australia. That is ok mate, it really is. You are also known as a vegetarian. That is also fine , no problem with what you choose to eat or not eat. We live in a free country and you are free to support most organisations and to choose your own diet.

I do wonder if you aware of the damage some of the Animals Rights groups such as Animals Australia cause. There is a difference between Animal welfare and animal rights Dave. The vast majority of people who produce our livestock in our great country know that animal welfare is a necessity. They live it every day. They practice it every day of every year. Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behaviour to animals. That is where Animal rights and Animal welfare diverge . Many of the campaigns which you have supported have and continue to cause suffering . Suffering to the livestock Animals Australia purports to be helping. Suffering to people too . Now I am sorry if this comes as a shock to you Dave but one of the direct results of the live export ban put in place by the then Agriculture order diclofenac online Minister Joe Ludwig, was a number of suicides of people in the beef industry. People have gone broke, real people who one way or another depended on the live export industry for their income. People have had to leave a way of life which they love. Real life consequences for people and communities.

By the way Dave do you know how much of the $3.15 million annual budget of Animals Australia according to their own annual report is spent on actual on the ground Animal Welfare ?

Well the answer is zero. Nothing. Zilch. Not a zac. Not even a brass razoo.

Things like feeding the starving stock which resulted in part because of the severity of the drought, a drought which continues in much of Australia, but also in large part by the suspension of the live export trade to Indonesia. There was what has been described as a perfect storm for the cattle industries. The effects of that perfect storm are still being heavily felt in places like the Northern Territory and northern Australia as a whole. Live export is only one part of the cattle industry Dave. It is a vital part though. Without it the whole supply chain is at risk. Cattle prices fell through the floor. There was a huge oversupply of cattle on the domestic market which resulted in knock on effects right around Australia . Be a bit like if you lost your voice . I am sure you could still be funny, but would it work as well?
Could you still make a living from comedy?
Might be a really hard road if it happened.

Well Dave that is what campaigns by groups such as Animals Australia in effect do to our livestock industries. Our Live exporters are at the forefront of world’s best practice. Of the over 100 nations which are involved in live export Australia is the only one which directly spends millions of dollars in destination nations to educate people and to improve animal welfare standards in places which want and need our livestock. No system is perfect and the industries are constantly striving to improve. It is just taken as read now within the industries that continuous improvement is not only required but desirable and they are putting their money into it. Lots of money!
Are Animals Australia?
No they are not.

This doesn’t just effect people in Australia Dave. 20 years ago the province of Lampung in Indonesia was impoverished. Then along came the feed lotters importing cattle from Australia and now the situation has been reversed. Kids go to school, there are medical centres, electricity and running water in houses, much better nutrition . All of this is a result of live export and the jobs that it has created. Do you care about the people Dave?
The people of rural Australia the people of places like Indonesia where our live export trade improves the lives of so many people?

I don’t think you are a bad bloke Dave. What I ask of you is to meet with people who are involved one way or another with the live export industry so they can give you the other side of the story and if I may suggest the facts and not the spin devised by public relations people sitting in comfort in our big cities. You may well still hold your current views after you meet with the people in the industries and witnessing firsthand how the stock is cared for in reality as distinct from as viewed from highly selective and edited footage of sometimes dubious origin. At the very least though you would be better informed if you take up this genuine invitation. I can arrange for people from every facet of the live export trade both here and in Indonesia to speak with you and to show you first hand the fair dinkum truth of our live export trade. The livestock industries have NOTHING to hide Dave. They are rightly proud of the way they treat their livestock.

Enjoy your gigs in the Northern Territory. It is a great place with great people.

Yours sincerely

Paul Cox

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