RSPCA WA CALLS FOR END TO LONG-HAUL LIVE EXPORT OF SHEEP
Statement from RSPCA WA President, Ms Lynne Bradshaw AM.
RSPCA WA is appalled at the footage of the abhorrent treatment of sheep in the long-haul live export industry. We are equally stunned that, despite the overwhelming evidence, the Federal Department of Agriculture has granted yet another export licence to this same, repeat-offender exporter.
The footage last night showed the distressing experience of sheep on long-haul export journeys – most of which is caused by high stocking density, extreme heat conditions, and lack of veterinary care.
In the video footage obtained by a whistle-blower on board, you can see at least one sheep being dragged and thrown overboard while it is still alive; sheep suffering from starvation and dehydration; sheep struggling to stand up in deep pools of faeces; sheep gasping and panting under extreme heat distress; piles of sheep dying among already decomposing carcasses; and new born lambs suffering and dying.
RSPCA has long argued for an end to cruel and unnecessary live exports, in favour of transition to an expanded trade in chilled and frozen meat from animals that have been processed humanely here in Australia.
What we know is that there can be no more excuses: What we have seen is not just one bad journey; it was not just one hot voyage; it’s not about just one bad exporter. What we have seen is systemic cruelty, and it must be stopped now. The millions of sheep currently being exported simply cannot be protected under the current approved standards.
Western Australian farmers have been betrayed by live sheep exporters. 90% of all sheep exported from Australia to the Middle East come from Western Australia. The conditions we’ve seen are inherent to the live export trade, and no farmer would want to see the animals they raised end up like that.
We call on all Western Australians to take a stand. Most urgently, we want to stop this same vessel from loading in Fremantle this week. And we want to see an end to long-haul live exports, full stop.
Voice your concerns to the Federal and State Ministers for Agriculture via the RSPCA Australia website at http://liveexport.rspca.org.au/wa.