Egypt animal welfare group condemns reopening of live trade

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 18 December 2006

Leading Egyptian animal welfare group, The Society for the Protection of Animal Rights Egypt (SPARE) has condemned the Australian government’s decision to reopen the live trade with Egypt following the arrival of a shipment of 40,000 Australian sheep in Egypt.

SPARE is appalled that in the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Egyptian and Australian governments that the notorious Basateen abattoir has been listed as an approved abattoir for the slaughter of Australian cattle. There are still no enforceable regulations to protect animals in Basateen or any other Egyptian abattoir. However, equally disturbing is that the welfare of Australian sheep has been considered even less significant in negotiations, as there is no restriction whatsoever as to where these animals can be slaughtered.

I am shocked that Australia would again export animals to Egypt where cruelty to animals is commonplace. Our own government still poisons thousands of dogs and cats in the streets each year, says Amina Sarwat Abaza the President of SPARE. Whilst Australian concerns have been focused on the barbaric treatment of cattle in Egyptian slaughterhouses, Australian sheep will still be subject to brutal treatment here, whether in abattoirs or private homes.

SPARE is outraged to hear your live export industry defend their cruel industry by claiming they are improving animal welfare in Egypt. Over the past decade they have been guilty of supplying over 2 million Australian animals to be brutalized in Egypt. When that cruelty is finally exposed and they are criticized, they pretend to care and hold a training course!

The only lesson that Egyptians learn from the example set by Australia’s live export industry is a terrible one  that animals are chattels to be profited from. How can an industry we know to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals each year on board vessels, and for abandoning them to cruel cultures preach animal welfare to Egyptians? Do they think Egyptians are fools ? that we cannot see their hypocrisy?

Egyptian animal welfare groups will not be used as part of the Australian live export industry’s propaganda machine. Only recently an Egyptian animal advocate was misrepresented to suggest he supported Australia’s live export trade. This is unforgivable, and proves that employees of this cruel industry cannot be trusted, concluded Ms Abaza.