LAST UPDATED: 20 June 2016
For decades, the live export industry went about its cruel business in secret, comforted in knowing the suffering of animals was happening far from the sight of caring Australians. But our investigations have dragged them into the spotlight. Today, exporting live animals is harder, more expensive and more scrutinised. The road to ending live export will be paved with milestones large and small.
Here are 5 big steps we've taken recently thanks to your support:
Our investigation in June 2015, which uncovered shocking and routine cruelty to cattle in one of Israel's biggest abattoirs, led to its temporary closure and formal sanctions from authorities. Following this and other repeated exposés of cruelty in the country's slaughterhouses, the Israeli government has now announced a requirement for CCTV cameras in all abattoirs. Most importantly, these cameras will stream directly to government, not to industry.
And when Animals Australia recently presented to an Israeli government animal welfare committee about the suffering involved in live export, all MPs present agreed that the trade to Israel should end. Watch this space...
Our work on behalf of animals in Jordan is now sparing Australian (and local) sheep the horrors of fully conscious slaughter, with pre-slaughter stunning now standard in government abattoirs. And after more than 30 years of Australian cattle suffering painful non-stun slaughter in Indonesia, our investigations have led to vastly increased levels of pre-slaughter stunning there, too.
Few could forget the harrowing footage we uncovered of Australian bulls being tormented and brutally slaughtered in the streets of Gaza during the Festival of Sacrifice. Exports from Australia were shut down immediately. But then we discovered Australian cattle were being illegally trafficked over the border from Israel. It took 13 legal complaints and the brave efforts of our local investigators on both sides of the border, but we have now successfully stopped this illegal trade too — sparing thousands of animals unimaginable suffering.
Year after year, our investigators have witnessed Australian sheep subjected to terrible cruelty, and suffering in scorching heat, in livestock markets throughout the Middle East. Cruel market sales continued even after new live export laws ruled Aussie sheep shouldn't be there. It's taken dozens of investigations and legal complaints but we're finally starting to see some of the worst marketplaces no longer getting access to Australian animals.
Closer to home, we've brought back the ads that the livestock industry tried to have pulled down. Thanks to the support of thousands of contributors to our Live Export Fighting Fund, we've escalated our bold public awareness campaign so politicians are reminded everywhere they turn that live export is a crime against animals.
And we won't stop until live export does. But while we continue to fight for the victims of this trade, know that with every email, every phone call, every time you speak out on behalf of these animals, you are creating change ... change that is perhaps more far-reaching than you realised.
Help drive more progress for animals: