Tens of thousands of animals die during the long shipments of up to three weeks - this is mainly due to stress injuries but there is also illnesses and diseases. For the ones that do survive, the worst is yet to come as they are then subjected to further transportation, handling and slaughter methods that are nothing short of cruel and barbaric and would not be acceptable in Australia.
Although not in as large numbers as sheep, we also export beef, goats, deer, buffalo and camels for slaughter.
Farmers argue that the animals MUST be sent over to the middle east for religious purposes of the countries involved or due to lack of refrigeration. This is simply not true.
Middle East countries that currently import live animals also import chilled meat, and the demand for chilled meat is growing every year.
Australia currently has a significant and growing export trade in halal accredited chilled and frozen meat, and last year the export of sheepmeat was more than four times as valuable as the export of live sheep and the export of beef more than ten times more valuable than the export of cattle.
Another arguement the farmers use is that ending the live export will cost Australia jobs. Again, not true! Australia‘s meat trade is worth double the live export trade. An increase in meat exports would contribute to the economy by creating more business for Australia‘s abattoirs and processors.
The journey is unnecessary - 80% of Australian abattoirs are Halal-certified and supermarkets in the Middle East already sell chilled meat imports alongside meat from the live trade.
During the previous ban on live sheep and cattle from Australia to Saudi Arabia (1991 - 2000), there was a three-fold increase in exports of chilled and frozen mutton and lamb to that market - evidence that consumers in the Middle East will accept meat from animals humanely killed in Australia.
Animals Australia has investigated, filmed and documented the conditions on 5 separate occasions to show what these animals go through, watch their latest investigation here
Worldwide animal organisations have joined forces to do something about it. WSPA, RSPCA, ANIMALS AUSTRALIA, and COMPASSION IN WORLD FARMING have come together with other international animal organisations to form 'HANDLE WITH CARE' bringing live export in the spotlight. Maybe now with the eyes of the world upon us, Kevin Rudd will do something about it.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Write a letter! Politicians take more notice of letters received via the post rather than via email. Please take a moment to write to the Prime Minister or the Minster of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to voice your opposition to live exports, you can also remind Mr. Rudd to uphold his word to protect animals from cruelty.
Senator Joe Ludwig
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: 02 6277 7520
Fax: 02 6273 4120
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
If you prefer to email, you can do so here
Here is a sample letter you could use, or use your own words:
Dear Minister, I am writing to you about the live export of millions of Australian animals for slaughter.
These animals endure long and gruelling road and sea journeys which many do not survive. In the sheep export trade to the Middle East, tens of thousands of sheep die on the way every year.
Despite industry claims to the contrary, the barbaric handling and slaughter of Australian animals on arrival in countries with little or no animal protection legislation is widespread and ongoing.
As a nation with high animal welfare standards, our animals deserve better.
I call on the new Labor Government to end this cruel and unnecessary trade and replace it with a trade in chilled and frozen meat from animals humanely transported and slaughtered in Australia.
How many more sheep will have to die like this before we do something about it? Please help, we HAVE to do help OUR Australian sheep. Write to our politicians, join Animals Australia, tell your friends and family.
For more info on Live Export visit:
LIVE EXPORT SHAME and ANIMALS AUSTRALIA LIVE EXPORT
Every year, Australia ships millions of animals, mainly sheep, to other countries for slaughter.