Stand up for Animals Rally

(7.50am 24 July 2012, Martin Place)

We are here to stand up for the thousands of animals who every year are condemned to immense pain and suffering through the live export trade.

We have laws here that must require cattle and sheep to be stunned before they get slaughtered, we send around 4.5 million cattle and sheep every year to countries that treat animals in ways that are illegal in Australia.

People are distressed when they learn about the suffering of animals in the live export industry: Hours on hot crowded trucks where they can't get up if they fall, days at holding facilities learning to eat unfamiliar pellets, weeks on crowded boats where disease is rife and many die; and appallingly cruel handling and slaughter on arrival.

Yet almost four out of five Australians believe live exports are cruel.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals does fantastic work keeping live exports on the public agenda. It has commissioned reports that show live exports are not just cruel but cost the Australian economy through loss of meat processing jobs in vulnerable rural communities, and its recent work shows how important ending live exports is to voters.

If we keep making our voices heard, governments will be forced to respond and phase out live export.

Today's Olympics inspired event is a great way to raise the profile of the fight against live exports with a strong message of standing up for animals. I hope we can break the world record and put an end to the pain and suffering of so many animals.