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The Live Animal Export Trade

An Egregious Violation of the Public Trust?

Gary Lilienthal, Nehaluddin Ahmad, Faizan Mustafa


The Australian Lot Feeders Association complains that animal welfare activists and airborne drones are probing their feedlotting practices. The object of this article will be to analyse critically the public interest in the export of live animals for purposes of destination market slaughter, with the industry’s corporate interests. According to former Australian High Court Chief Justice French, public decisions must be made lawfully, rationally, fairly and intelligibly. The question arises as to whether decisions in the export supply chain of live animals comply with these criteria, and does the live animal export trade constitute a major breach of public trust? The prevailing public view, and therefore the public interest, may be inferred from the available facts, suggesting that the live animals export industry is only apparently in conformance with an international regulatory system. Authorities appear to have taken the side of corporate live animal export interests, and their apparent desires for production efficiencies, distorting the public rhetoric to manipulate the public interest, and reducing the quality of humane treatment of animals. On board many ships, animals have been severely ill-treated and tortured, enduring suffering through high temperatures, a lack of fresh or sufficient air causing death, and the further painful suffering of deadly diseases. Although apparently lawful, the trade does not appear rational, fair or intelligible, thus amounting to a large-scale breach of the public trust.
Keywords: Animal welfare; Feedlotting practices; Public interest; Animal slaughter; International regulatory system; Humane treatment of animals; Breach of the public trust.

Prof. Dr. Gary Lilienthal, Dip. Counselling, (A.I.P.C.), LL.B., (Sydney University, Australia), Grad. Dip. Legal Pract., (College of Law, Sydney), M. Psychoanalytic Studs., (Deakin University, Australia), Ph.D., (Law) (Curtin University, Australia) is a Professor of Law at Carrington Rand, Kowloon, Hong Kong, SAR. For correspondence: <mailto:carrington.rand@icloud.com>; Prof. Dr. Nehaluddin Ahmad, MA, LL.B., LL.M. (Luck. India) LL.M. (Strathclyde, UK), LL.D. (Meerut University, India) is a Professor at the School of Law, Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISSA), Brunei Darussalam. For correspondence: <mailto:ahmadnehal@yahoo.com>; Prof. Dr. Faizan Mustafa, LL.M, Ph.D. (Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India), Diploma in Comparative Human Rights (International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France) is Professor and Vice-Chancellor of the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India. For correspondence: <mailto:mustafa.faizan@gmail.com>. The authors are grateful for the editorial, subject matter and procedural guidance of Mr P Hodgkinson, Agricultural Scientist and Carrington Rand Fellow, Canberra, Australia, and, Associate Professor Dr Hadia Haikal-Mukhtar, Head of Auburn Clinical School, School of Medicine, Sydney, University of Notre Dame, Australia, and current sitting member for the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

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