On the 4th of December 2018 — the day after two further live export bills were introduced to Parliament — Australia’s live export industry announced it’s going to stop sending live sheep to be slaughtered in the Middle East for three months in 2019.
Is this a sign that they’ve decided to finally listen to expert vets, farmers, animal protection groups, politicians, and an outraged global community… and start taking animal welfare seriously?
Let’s dive a little deeper.
Over the years, millions of sheep have died on live export ships, and hundreds of millions more have suffered both during the gruelling voyages and in destination countries where they have been exposed to horrendous abuse — being clubbed to death, locked in car boots, exposed to (even more) heat stress, fully-conscious slaughter, and buried alive by the thousands.
Earlier this year, shocking footage released on 60 Minutes revealed for the first time ever the extent of the extreme suffering sheep endure on ships. Footage from five routine shipments showed sheep covered from head to toe in their own waste, suffering from heat stroke and literally ‘cooking alive’ in the hulls of live export vessels.
None of this was a surprise to the live export industry. In fact, they’ve known about all of this — for decades.