Live exported cows to Israel

World Health Organisation disease specialist warns live animal export must stop.

World Health Organisation epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws has warned of the danger of live animal exports, saying it poses the risk of a "ghastly" disease outbreak.
Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 27 August 2020

World Health Organisation epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws has warned of the danger of live animal exports, saying the trade poses the risk of a “ghastly” disease outbreak.

The disease expert, who is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of New South Wales and Health Emergencies IPC Preparedness, Readiness and Response to COVID-19 Advisor to the World Helath Organisation, was interviewed on Channel 10’s The Project and had some strong words to say about the continuation of live animal exports.

Watch the interview here:

While people and animals across the world continue to suffer the impacts of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and academics are increasingly drawing attention to humanity’s broken relationship with nature and animals as a major cause for alarm and risk of future pandemics.

A recent report from the United Nations warns that a stream of diseases can be expected to jump from animals to humans in coming years, while the global demand for meat — and the resultant deforestation and intensification of animal farming — continues.

The live animal export industry forces animals into close confinement in unnatural surroundings which can lead to extreme stress, injury, sickness and death. Live export ships are essentially factory farms on water — taking animals like cattle and sheep from open pastures and confining them to pens for weeks at a time, exposing them to cruel conditions including extreme heat and rough seas.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A live export cow looking out of the truck
Animals can suffer for weeks at sea, arriving in importing countries exhausted and in filthy conditions.
Image credit: Jo-Anne MacArthur / We Animals

Even during this time when so many people’s movement is restricted to try to stop the virus from spreading, this industry has been allowed to continue to operate — to the detriment of both humans and animals.

As if there weren’t enough reasons to end the cruel trade… not only does live export condemn millions of animals to terrible suffering, but, according to this disease expert, it’s putting human lives at risk too.

Watch the full interview with Professor McLaws on the Project’s Facebook page.

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