UPDATE May 2022: Australia has a new Prime Minister and government following the Federal Election on 21 May. The incoming Labor government, and most of the new and expanded crossbench, have publicly pledged to bring the cruel live sheep export trade to an end. Animals Australia will continue to speak for animals, and with the support of caring Australians, will ensure this hard-won election commitment becomes government policy as soon as possible.
The live export industry has successfully lobbied to once again send sheep into the height of the Middle East summer, where suffering from severe heat stress will be inevitable.
A three month shipping ban has been in place since 2019, prohibiting sheep being exported from Australia to the Middle East during the scorching heat and humidity of the Northern summer.
This annual pause in sheep shipments was introduced in response to heart-wrenching footage of sheep suffering and dying from heat stress on live export ships.
The images were captured across five separate voyages and revealed:
- sheep suffering and dying from heat stroke;
- severely decomposed bodies in pens with living sheep; and
- sheep caked in melted faeces and urine.
While this was the first glimpse Australians had been given into routine conditions on live export ships, such suffering was well known and recorded by the live export industry for decades.
The Middle East summer has always been a time of increased suffering for sheep at sea. And it’s only getting hotter.