Australian Sheep Exports to Pakistan & Bahrain Suspended
Graphic footage exposing the inhumane slaughter of 21,000 Australian sheep in Pakistan aired on ABC’s Four Corners programme last night, causing the live export industry to voluntarily suspend all sheep exports to Pakistan and Bahrain, according to a statement issued by the National Farmers Federation (NFF).
Sheep exporter Wellard Group is at the centre of the story: the Perth-based company was responsible for delivering the sheep to Bahrain in accordance with an agreement instated between the two nations, but when Bahrain rejected the sheep due to ‘disease claims,’ they were transported to the Pakistani seaport city of Karachi. The Australian exporters were removed from the sheep’s holding compound here, and the sheep were later beaten, stabbed and even buried alive.
Though Sindh provincial government officials claim the slaughter was necessary due to health concerns, Australia’s live export industry and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) have fervently denied these claims.
“The conditions under which this cull of healthy Australian sheep was performed are extremely distressing and appalling,” the NFF statement said.
The footage is a grim reminder of the story exposed by Four Corners last May about the Indonesian abattoirs exposed for extreme mistreatment of Australian cattle, which sparked a nationwide demand for the Federal Government to end live cattle exports to its biggest importer. For several weeks, the government cancelled all live exports to Indonesia, and this decision reportedly “had the effect of devastating the industry,” Liberal frontbencher George Brandis told The Australian.
Similarly, in the wake of the Pakistani sheep slaughter expose, Australian farmers maintain that banning the live export trade would “erode animal welfare standards worldwide’:
“The welfare of animals is of paramount to concern to the Australian livestock production and export industries,” the NFF statement said. “Australia is the only country, of the more than 100 countries across the world that export livestock, which actively works in overseas markets to help improve animal welfare conditions.
“If Australia was to stop exporting livestock, global animal welfare standards would unquestionably decline.”
This Four Corners segment will be replayed at 11:35 pm tonight on ABC.
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.