Save Samson - Live Export's Unwilling Victim

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On Saturday the 19th of January our animal sanctuary Maridan's Menagerie was contacted by concerned residents informing them that there was a scared, stray cow wandering the streets of South Townsville, adjacent to the city's port and subsequent live animal export facility. Townsville Port is one of the biggest live export facilities in Australia.

We promptly contacted local police whom directed us to council. We were informed that they had managed to confine Samson within the port's petroleum storage facility. Immediately ourselves and a group of volunteers drove to the port to meet Samson and discuss with a council officer how to best assist the poor animal.

Our first interactions with Samson revealed a thin, highly anxious and untrusting steer who was likely less than two years old (a mere tenth of his natural live expectancy). It was clear he had never known positive human interaction: Not while living on the farm where he endured a process called polling (where the farmer cuts or burns down to the skull to retard his horn growth) or desexing (where he has his scrotum cut open and testicles sliced out or has a band applied around his scrotum which restricts blood flow until the entire thing dies and falls off). All of this is typically done while fully conscious and without any form of anaesthetic (as per standard Australian agricultural 'humane' practice). No human compassion was shown while being held and transported to his intended death where these animals are legally allowed to be refused shelter, food and even water for upwards of 48hrs.

His systemic and institutionalised abuse meant that Samson was so untrusting of people that we were unable to even get within 50 metres of him before he fled, crashing through a 2.4 metre high chain link security fence just to avoid what he interpreted as more impending harm.

To this day Samson is free roaming once more through the streets and park lands of South Townsville. Volunteers continue to search for him in order to evaluate his health and offer him fresh drinking water.

What now? Townsville city council is responsible for capturing Samson. While they attempt to do so, a dedicated team is working tirelessly to negotiate his surrender to Maridan's Menagerie (we have already secured him a safe forever home) upon his capture.

What is arguably the most heart breaking part of Samson's short painful life is that under Australian law, species such as cattle are exempt from normal animal ethics regulations. This means that every horrible thing that has happened to Samson was completely legal. Furthermore without public pressure, upon his capture he will be transported straight back to a holding yard and loaded onto the next available ship to be slaughtered and butchered in either Vietnam, Indonesia or China (where animal welfare is practically non-existent).

How can you help save Samson?

- Hit the share button to spread the word!
- Ring or email Townsville City Council (who have been open and willing to work with the sanctuary) Phone 13 48 10 or (07) 47279000
- Email:
Ask them for updates on Samson the escaped Live Export steer. Tell them you would like to see him surrendered to Townsville local sanctuary Maridan's Menagerie.

Please do not let Samson die in vain. He is an unwilling victim of Live Export who's lust for life demands action on our behalf.