Australian Sheep Live Export Exposed

Animals Queensland Law Legislation Community Speaks Posted May 19, 2021
Shocking never-seen-before footage was aired, exposing the routine conditions and appalling suffering experienced by Australian sheep on board live export vessels.

60 minutes aired the distressing footage, provided by a courageous whistle-blower, which was captured on board five routine long haul voyages. The ships were loaded to Australian Standards, below usual stocking densities and with a vet on board.

If you were as shocked as we were and want to see change, take action by hitting the button below! 

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The distressing evidence shows conditions rapidly deteriorating, with countless suffering sheep crammed into pens. They are dying slowly and painfully due to inescapable heat and humidity, injury, lack of access to food and water, and with apparently no veterinary attention.

The rough seas also pose problems as sheep and lambs struggle to stand. They are buried in mounting levels of manure and waste. At least one sheep, clearly alive, is thrown overboard. 

RSPCA Australia Chief Science and Strategy Officer, Dr Bidda Jones said for the first time Australians were able to see exactly what happens to around 2 million sheep every year on board routine long-haul voyages. It is hard to fathom. She said, “This footage is gruesome. It is stomach-turning. To watch Australian sheep being left to collapse, die and decompose, with no attempt made to alleviate their suffering, is truly sickening.” 

Dr Jones was even more concerned that this is happening under our watch. That the Australian Government deems these conditions to meet Australian Standards, which are supposedly ‘world best practice’. 

The conditions associated with live exports have been a concern for decades. However, the live export industry has kept their practices hidden, refusing to allow cameras on board. This is the first time irrefutable evidence has been obtained and the horrific realities have truly been exposed. 

If you’ve seen animal cruelty or have animal welfare concerns, report it.  

Dr Jones said, “Once again, Australian farmers have been gravely let down. The live export industry’s social licence to operate is in tatters and this shocking evidence will damage Australian agriculture more broadly unless real action is taken.”

“In the light of this evidence, we believe that the Australian Government, through the Secretary for the Department of Agriculture, has a legal obligation not to give further long-haul voyages a green light. While no sheep farmer relies completely upon live exports, we would support government support for farmers, to make any adjustments they need to move away from live exporting their animals.” she said.

The suffering must stop. All sheep destined for long-haul live export should be slaughtered right here in Australia. Don’t close your eyes to animal cruelty, help by taking action today. 

Dr Jones said, “Farmers, governments and the community have been deceived by live exporters for long enough - but now the truth is out in the open, there can be no more excuses.” 

Take action!

Nicole Muscat
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