Four Corners and the very meaty issue

“Trading of AACo shares suspended” – for a moment I wondered if Arthur Anderson was listed in the ASX but remembered AA as in Arthur Anderson is long gone, courtesy of Enron. AACo refers of course to the Australian Agricultural Company who is being slaughtered on account of ABC’s Four Corner’s story of what happened to Aussie cows in Indonesian abattoirs.

The ban on live exports meant AACo, along with thousands of workers and business owners, are all stranded and will have their income suspended along with the export. There will of course be mitigating steps taken to divert the supply locally and that may mean we get cheaper beef but this will likely not make up the loss by very much.

As disturbing as those images on Four Corners were, I am surprised not more people knew this was actually going on. Isn’t it modern day industry best practice to know your customer and their practices? Don’t the Australian regulators know these abattoirs’ working conditions before the airing of the program? If measures have already been taken to implement kinder processes, then really there is no need for a ban.

It will however, make me wince the next time I see a steak. I must admit I didn’t when I watched parts of the Masterchef program last night, when a huge chunk of meat was served up as part of a spread. I’ve not been a huge fan of beef so this hasn’t affected me a lot but I always find it hard to find “X” – the spot where the balance hangs between humane and inhumane slaughtering of animals. It is no doubt an age old issue – one best left alone for now.