With only three days to go until the Olympics, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has inspired a new world record on Australian soil.
World record in Australia
To launch the biggest stage yet of its campaign to phase out the live export of animals, WSPA gathered hundreds of Australians in Martin Place, Sydney, who today broke the World Record for the most people to ever stand up, simultaneously from a cross legged position, with their arms linked. The previous Guinness World Record was 45 people.
The record attempt was attended by Olympic gold and silver medallist Brooke Hanson and Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, Clover Moore.
The record comes on the same day that new research commissioned by WSPA has shown that 12.4 million Australians (74% of respondents) claim that they are more likely to vote for a political candidate who promised to end live animal export. Almost four in five (78%) Australians believe live export is cruel.
Stand up for Animals campaign
With such strong popular support for the issue, the record-breaking event took place to launch the ‘Stand Up for Animals’ campaign, an in-store partnership between WSPA and The Body Shop. The campaign will demonstrate to the government, Australians and the world that live exports have not gone away… and neither have we!
The partnership will be in around 90 stores across Australia from 30 July – 19 August. During this time people are invited to visit a local Body Shop store and sign a little orange person, to join a chain to be delivered to a local MP, and then presented to Federal Government at the end of the campaign.
What was said
Brooke Hanson, Olympic gold and silver medallist, said: “With the Olympic Games on the horizon, it delights me that Australians are embracing the Olympic fever… and for such an important cause! To smash this record really shows that Australians have joined me in standing up for animals and hoping that Australia moves towards the alternatives to live export”.
Jodie Jankevics, Campaign Manager for WSPA, said: “Once again we have definitively told the government that whilst live export continues, we will maintain the public opposition to it. There are viable alternatives to live export that would benefit the Australian economy, farmers and animals so the time has come to embrace this win-win- win situation. Three quarters of Australians willing to change their vote based on this political issue is surely a loud and clear sign to government that they must act and act now!
Mark Kindness, CEO, The Body Shop Australia, commented: ““Our customers and staff have always stood up for animals and we were delighted to see so many of them ‘stand’ up for animals today. We are proud to support WSPA in a campaign that seeks to find alternatives to live export while simultaneously safeguarding existing jobs and creating new opportunities in Australia.”
Facts and figures
The research into Australians’ perceptions of the live export trade also found:
Women (84%) are more likely than men (71%) to agree that live exports are cruel.
Australians aged 18-24 years (85%) are the most likely to think that live exports are cruel (cf. 25-34 78%, 35-54 79% 55+ 75%).
Victorians (81%) are more likely than Australians from other states to believe that live exports are cruel (cf. NSW/ACT 78%, QLD 76%, other states 76%).
Women (80%) are more likely than men (66%) to say that they are more likely to vote for a political candidate who promised to end live animal export.
Australians aged 18-24 years (83%) are the most likely say that they are more likely to vote for a political candidate who promised to end live animal export (cf. 25-34 78%, 35-54 75% 55+ 68%).
The survey was a nationwide poll of 1036 Australians aged 18 and over, commissioned by WSPA and conducted by Lonergan Research in on 28 May 2012.