(FARM ANIMALS) AUSTRALIA — The stakes have risen as more than 20,000 animal advocates in Australia are rallying for permanent legislature that forbids live animal exports. After footage was released from Indonesia showing the vicious torture and slaughter of cattle, a temporary ban was placed on live animal trade. But the ban has been lifted, and exports are set to start up again soon.

In hopes of instating something permanent, two bills have been presented that would end the trade and thus the torture of exported Australian animals. Outraged protesters are calling for a conscience vote on the bills, holding politicians accountable and forcing them to honestly represent the public and stop this animal brutality.

This is the time for action! Let your voice be heard! These animals need our help and we have two days to fight for their cause. For more on this issue, see a Facebook poll posted by the Australian Labor Party, and check out the Animals Australia website. — Global Animal

News.com.au, Melissa Jenkins, Lema Samandar, and Tim Dornin

Protesters rally in attempts to urge the Australian government to ban live animal exports. Photo Credit: themercury.com.au

THOUSANDS across the country have protested against live animal exports as independent Senator Nick Xenophon echoed their calls for the cruelty to cease.

Rallies, organised in each state capital and Canberra, called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

The future of live exports will go before federal parliament this week with two bills to be debated, including one which would phase it out by 2014.

Groups opposed to the trade, including the RSPCA and Animals Australia, believe a conscience vote would bring it to an end.

The bills were prompted by video footage of abuse at an Indonesian abattoir recently aired by Four Corners.

The subsequent outcry prompted the Federal Government to impose a temporary ban on exports to Indonesia, which resumed last month.

In Adelaide, Senator Xenophon said no Australian should ignore the cruelty of the live trade.

“The industry will give you a thousand reasons why we can’t stop it,” he said.

“They say that we can’t process meat here, even though that would mean creating value and creating jobs for our nation.”

In Melbourne people wept as Animals Australia investigator Lyn White recalled some of the cruelty she had witnessed at slaughterhouses in Indonesia and the Middle East.

“I have stood in front of workers in a Dubai marketplace to stop them from throwing Australian sheep three metres through the air like bags of wheat,” she told the crowd.

“I have stood in Indonesian slaughterhouses for six consecutive nights witnessing a level of brutality to animals that I hoped I would never see from our fellow human beings.

Even animals are rallying for justice. Photo credit: www.heraldsun.com.au

“This is not about animal rights, this is about ending human wrongs.”

Greens MP Adam Bandt, who introduced one of the bills before federal parliament, also backed calls for a conscience vote on the issue.

“Members … from all sides of parliament should vote with their heart and with their head,” Mr Bandt said.

“It’s what the Australian people want.”

Among the crowd in Sydney, Jill Trotter, who came with her dog Zoe, said she felt strongly about live animal exports.

“There’s no need to send live animals overseas, it just doesn’t have to happen and there are humane ways of killing animals,” Ms Trotter said.

“They would have known that this was going on in Indonesia for a long time and that’s what is really sad.”

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