LIVE EXPORT NOW ON THE ELECTION AGENDA
The easing of the ban on live sheep shipments from Australia to the Middle East during the heat of the northern summer, announced late last week by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, is a retrograde decision that will cause significant animal suffering in an already cruel trade.
Following its recent review of the live sheep trade from Australia during the hottest three months of the year, which included submissions from the Animal Justice Party (AJP), animal protection organisations and the community, the Department has apparently caved to pressure from live exporters to relax the ban.
“Despite extensive scientific evidence of the detrimental, often lethal, effects of heat stress for sheep on board live export ships, plus multiple investigations and exposés of the horrific conditions experienced by animals on board, it appears that once again animal welfare has been relegated below the profits of a few operators,” the AJP’s lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Mackenzie Severns, said.
Live export voyages to the Middle East from Australia can take up to three weeks, during which animals are subjected to heat stress, overcrowding, inadequate access to food and water, illness and distress from having to stand and lie in their own excrement.
Once they reach their destinations the surviving animals are subjected to brutal handling and slaughter methods that would be illegal in Australia, including being shoved in car boots, dragged through the streets, leg-tendon slashing, eye-gouging, beatings, and fully conscious slaughter in front of their fellows.
The AJP’s lead Senate candidate for Victoria, Bronwyn Currie, is organising a series of rallies against live export around the country.
“Live export is now firmly on the federal election agenda. It’s very clear that most Australians want the cruel live export trade to end, in all its forms, and these rallies will afford people an opportunity to express their opposition to the live export trade ahead of the election,” Ms Currie said.
“It’s also disingenuous of the Minister, David Littleproud, to claim that the Department’s decision is independent of the government when successive Coalition governments have unambiguously supported and enabled the live export trade to continue,” Ms Currie said.
Bronwyn Currie 0409 834 493
Roslyn Wells 0414 376 366