THE organisation which shattered Australia's live export trade last year will wage a new war on farmers from tomorrow.
Animals Australia, which just over a year ago fed video footage of animal cruelty to ABC Television leading to a month-long ban on the live export trade, says it is poised to launch a multimedia campaign aimed at ending what it calls "factory farming".
Animals Australia campaign director (Tart with no Heart) Lyn White.
The organisation's website is carrying messages announcing its "biggest campaign ever" and marshalling its forces for more action against farmers and businesses that produce food from animals.
"Imagine a world where all animals are provided with a life worth living and protection from cruel treatment. A world that recognises their needs and interests, not just takes from them," a statement on their website says.
"A world where every animal is treated as a someone, not a something. With the launch of this campaign imagination will become action, because we have a plan to Make it Possible - a plan to end factory farming in Australia!"
Livestock industry sources contacted by Fairfax Agricultural Media say they are aware of the campaign but have no detail on which sectors of the livestock food production system Animals Australia will specifically target.
This latest development comes as more than 11,000 head of healthy sheep were culled in Pakistan over the weekend following weeks of controversy and unfounded allegations the consignment was infected with scabby-mouth.
Animals Australia is standing by Pakistani media reports that animals were culled in breach of world standards.
Animals Australia's latest action follows recent comments by RSPCA CEO Heather Neil who has reconfirmed her organisation's condemnation of live exports while asking beef producers to assist in drafting a new set of cattle welfare guidelines.
The proposal was put forward at the BeefEx conference on the Gold Coast recently, where her host - the Australian Lot Feeders Association - had invited her to outline her impressions of feedlot operations.
Based on her visit to the Wainui Feedlot near Dalby on Queensland's Darling Downs, Ms Neil gave lot feeders a pass mark for innovations in low stress handling, curved races, solid sides and non-slip flooring.
Ms Neil said the strides lot feeders have taken to improve animal welfare in their operations were meeting the bar of community expectations and she urged producers throughout the sector to have input on a new set of cattle welfare guidelines yet to be released covering both grainfed and grassfed enterprises.
"Unashamedly these guidelines set a very high standard and really describe how we would like to see cattle production in Australia," she said.
"However in order to encourage and reward cattle producers to measure their current performance, establish targets for improvement and then report those improvements we will be inviting producers to take part in the RSPCA beef cattle welfare challenge and more information will come out about that soon."
Despite telling lot feeders they had a "good story to tell" about their industry, her message was vastly different for live cattle exports, reiterating the RSPCA's aggressive anti live cattle export stance, which has aligned the RSPCA with other more radical elements of the animal welfare debate, such as Animals Australia and the extremist Voiceless.
"The RSPCA has been working for 30 years to end live exports and nothing will change that in the future," she said.
"We believe our presence in the debate has made significant changes to the industry. The new supply chain assurance system (ESCAS) has improved animal welfare in destination countries but it would be wrong to suggest it protects all Australian animals from cruelty.
"The supply chain assurance system is not equal to Australian standards, it doesn't remove risks inherent in the journey, it does not prevent leakage and it does not prevent animals from being killed while fully conscious."