It’s reported the NT government is to look at breeding donkeys for meat export to China.
So we may soon be hearing conversations that go a little like this.
“It took a bit of getting around at first of course. People weren’t used to the idea. There was a bit of protest, but when they realised this was a viable new export, and then, well, they came around.”
“Like the sheep and then the donkeys, then? On the boats and off to China?”
“Yes, well, it took a while, as I said, and then it all fell into place. After all, there were lots of them roaming around the Territory, packs of them. A lot are handed in, owners deceased and the kids don’t want the bother of looking after them. Used to upset some handlers at first. Softies. But y’know the Chinese breed ‘em for the pot, just another kind of meat, I say. Soup’s very popular in winter, I’m been told. And then there’s a big festival at Yulin.”
“Had much trouble from the RSPCA? I mean, Man’s Best Friend, and all that?”
“Aw, well, we have a vet on site, checks carried out, that sort of thing. The Chinese like the big fellers, more meat on the bone. Had a couple of those big Labs and Shepherds last shipment. Though they like the little fellers too, say the meat’s more tender like. Gotta be careful with the big ones though, there was a black Rottie, gave us some trouble, took a finger off Johnno before we clubbed him into the pens.”
“So you’ve got it all down and working, then? A new export trade for Australia?”
“Yeah, mate, noisier than sheep but. The big ‘uns howl a lot, bark their heads off, some of the little fellers cry but they settle, eventually. Aussie Mates – the best dog meat you can buy.”
Tina Faulk is a freelance journalist and animal lover.
Illustration: Village Roadshow Distribution.
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