WSPA’s Animal Task Force is a group of volunteers, currently made up of the Captains from our “Move Forward” campaign. They have been hard at work campaigning against live export over the last several months. One such volunteer is April Meddick, Captain for the Corangamite electorate.
April has been focusing on Government Relations tasks, engaging in correspondence with her MP, Darren Cheeseman, and asking him pressing questions and educating him on the facts of the trade.
April and her family reside in Torquay, Victoria, and she is working hard to let her MP know that, as a constituent, this issue matters to her. Having a career in Administration, two teenage children, and several pets, April is busy, but she makes time to volunteer as a Captain because she firmly believes the trade must end.
After seeing a 60 Minutes programme regarding live sheep exports, April was horrified to see what was happening in Australia. Inspired to take action, she wrote a letter to then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to register her opposition to the trade. As time passed, she didn’t hear from him and it slipped from her mind. More recently, another live export broadcast caught her eye and reignited her passion. April says:
“I vowed this time I wouldn’t let it go, but would be more active in the fight to get this cruel trade brought to an end.When I received an email from WSPA stating that they were getting involved in the fight to bring the live export trade to an end, I jumped at the opportunity to get more actively involved with the support of this great organisation behind me.”
However, you don’t need to be a WSPA Captain to lobby the government, as April has done. Reaching out to your elected officials is a powerful action that anyone can take.
“People can help to bring an end to the trade by regularly letting their politicians know that they do not support the trade and will not vote for a party that supports this trade”, April says.
In regards to the difficulties of the campaign, she says “I think one of the biggest challenges is apathy-that people will forget about the footage they saw, just like I did. We need to keep this subject in the public eye until the trade is brought to an end. We need to keep the pressure up to our politicians.”
Determined to succeed, April’s message to her MP is clear:
“I want them to know that no amount of tracking systems are going to change the suffering and awful conditions the animals endure on the journey over. It is not going to stop the cruel way an animal is treated at their destination. I want my Member of Parliament to know that cruelty is not OK for any amount of money. I want the message to be loud and clear that Australians do not accept cruelty under any banner.”
Look for more information soon on how you can join April in WSPA’s Animal Task Force!