SAM wants to put a brake on livestock transport

Crammed spaces, horrendous condition are the reasons to put an end to animals export.

Mohamed-IdrisBy Ivy Chong

PETALING JAYA: An environmental group today called for a ban on the export of animals for slaughter, saying the livestock were subjected to unethical practices and cruel conditions during their long journey to their destination.

“Live animal export is a story of corporate profiteering, politics, deceptive information and profound cruelty,” said S. M. Mohamed Idris, who heads the Penang-based Friends of the Earth Malaysia (SAM).

He cited SAM’s observation of an incident in Penang, in which a lorry attendant pulled a crateful of chickens out from inside the lorry.

“He pulled it over the edge of the lorry then let the crate drop from the height of the lorry floor onto the ground (height of about 3 feet) giving the chickens a terrible jolt,” he said.

Idris said animals suffer overcrowded conditions during their journey, and are exposed to heat and sun during road trips, as well as being denied adequate food, water and ventilation.

“Trips may be longer if truck stops at more markets along the way, or has a breakdown, or is stopped at borders for permits and inspection,” he added.

He said a Cambridge University study had recommended different methods of transporations for different animals such as birds and four-legged animals

“Journeys for birds must be considerably shorter because poultry held in crates cannot be effectively fed and watered during transport,” Idris quoted a finding by Donald Broom, an expert at the university’s Animal Welfare Information Centre.

“As for four legged animals, they need more space in transport but that is not usually the case as haulers will try to pack as many animals as they can into the vehicle.

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“Instead haulers typically try to pack as many animals into a vehicle as can be shoved aboard,” he added.

Idris said governments had ignored the welfare of the livestock in preference of profits.

“One would expect livestock to have some level of ‘protection’ commensurate with their value; sadly, however, this is not the case,” he said.

He said SAM was joining the call for an end to transport of livestock, in conjunction with a worldwide campaign to promote “Compassion in World Farming”.

“In short the export of live animals causes unnecessary suffering, and unnecessary suffering is bad, whatever the context. That really is all there is to it.”

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Sektor pelancongan Malaysia merupakan salah satu sektor yang penting dalam ekonomi negara. Sehingga kini, sektor pelancongan merupakan sektor kelima terbesar negara selepas sektor perkhidmatan kewangan, kelapa sawit, borong dan runcit, gas dan tenaga, dan petroleum dengan memberikan sebanyak RM36.9 bilion kepada Keluaran Negara Kasar (KNK).

Pun begitu pada peringkat awal selepas pasca kemerdekaan negara, kerajaan tidak memberi penekanan kepada sektor pelancongan. Kerajaan pada ketika itu lebih memberi tumpuan kepada pembangunan infrastruktur negara dan melawan ancaman komunis. Selain itu, faktor ancaman dari luar seperti konfrantasi dengan negara jiran turut menjejaskan rencana kerajaan pada ketika itu. Ia serta merta melambatkan pekembangan sektor pelancongan di Malaysia.

Pada era masa 60-an, sektor pelancongan masih belum mewujudkan peranan yang penting terhadap perkembangan ekonomi negara. Kerajaan pada waktu itu memberi tumpuan kepada sektor hasil bumi seperti bijih timah dan getah. Sektor hasil alam tersebut telah menyumbang sebanyak 45% kepada keluaran Negara kasar (KNK) pada tahun 70-an.

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