DEPENDING on which side of the farm fence you stand, Animals Australia's Lyn White might be a hero or a villain.
The ABC's Australian Story tonight followed the rise of a shy girl who became a South Australian police officer before deciding to leave the force to document animal cruelty abroad.
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In her decade-long crusade as an animal welfare investigator, Ms White has campaigned against moon bears being milked for bile in China and exposed the conditions of animal transport ships and the cruel treatment of Australian livestock in the Middle East.
But the most explosive of Ms White's filming created a massive reaction across Australia last year when the inhumane slaughter by cruel meat workers in some Indonesian abattoirs were broadcast on the ABC's Four Corners.
Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association president David Warriner told Weekly Times Now tonight he wasn't concerned by the program because it was a profile on the woman and her beliefs.
He said the Top End industry was still recovering from last year's month-long ban to Indonesia but the association and cattlemen were being pro-active.
"The trade has been reduced however it has put animal welfare significantly forward. It's done the live export industry a world of good. There's now the supply assurance chain and 85 per cent of livestock are being stunned when it was only 15 per cent and it won't be too long before its 95 per cent," Mr Warriner said.
Victorian Farmers Federation livestock group president Ian Feldtmann said the profile made Ms White look like a saint.
"I did see the program and I felt it went out of its way to make Lyn White to look like a saint or a crusader," Mr Feldtmann said.
He questioned whether Ms White's conviction for animal welfare in other countries would continue if Australian livestock were not there.
Mr Feldtmann said Australia was the only country which demanded standards and promoted change and education.
He said he believed the Indonesians were importing livestock from South America and India and wondered if Ms White would continue her work and lobby in those countries."The live export industry is an important trade to Australia and there are flow on effects throughout the country and reaction in the markets," Mr Feldtmann said.
Tonight's program, The Razor Edge, covered the views of both Ms White's supporters and some of her harshest critics.Animals Australia chief Glenys Oogjes spoke of the reaction to the Indonesian investigation. She also spoke of the toll that trip took on Ms White.
She said Ms White returned home thin with haunted eyes.
Ms White said after her Indonesia footage was aired there was a "tidal wave" of distress from across the country.
She said she didn't feel a responsibility for the loss and angry cattlemen felt but she did sympathise with those who lost their jobs due to the trade being suspended.
"This is where my life is . . . I'm really pleased my work has so much impact . . . all I'm really doing is shining light on issues.
"I don’t think I will ever retire from this career. I'm now working where I'm needed."