Live Export Activists Want End to Horrific Cruelty
Australian Greens political party animal welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks has called for the South Australian government to take action to stop live export cruelty involving animals loaded from Port Adelaide.
“The revelation that 78 per cent of the 4179 sheep that died appallingly cruel deaths from heat stress aboard a live export shipment from Australia to the Middle East were loaded in Port Adelaide is a call to action. The SA State Government must take action to end our contribution to the live export ‘ships of shame’,” Franks said.
“It is clear that the only solution to end this horrific suffering is to end live exports and support the Australian domestic meat processing industry by moving to chilled box meat exports. Live exports not only export suffering, but Australian jobs offshore as well.
“The heat stress that killed these 3256 sheep is not a unique one off event – every voyage sees animals suffering and dying aboard before they even reach their destination country, where animal welfare standards are often lax or sadly non-existent.
“The SA Government must ensure that while live exports continue from Port Adelaide, ALL transport, holding and loading of animals must be closely overseen by appropriately qualified RSPCA personnel. The multiple breaches of the Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) currently under investigation clearly demonstrate the industry is not capable of regulating itself.
“If the livestock exporter LSS are claiming that the sheep that died were loaded in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) and met the requirements in relation to stocking density on board, then it is clear these standards themselves need to be re-examined and changed.
“The chances of further cruel heat stress deaths must be minimised and the only way to guarantee that is to end live export. Transporting animals in heatwave conditions for a three week journey to the Middle East is inhumane and must be banned.
At a federal level the Greens are taking action on live exports with my federal counterpart Senator Lee Rhiannon announcing she will be reintroducing her live export bill in the Senate.
Over the past thirty years Australia has exported more than 160 million animals overseas. More than 2.5 million have died on those voyages alone. In recent years, Australians have been shocked by the images of the live export trade. In 2011, there was a huge public outcry when the realities of the live export trade to Indonesia were exposed on the ABC’s Four Corners program. This forced the Australian Government to, for the first time, regulate the live export trade, introducing the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System. A system designed to prevent cruelty and to trace all animals exported.
However, despite these new regulations, the cruelty continues, and animals will still suffer the pain and distress of un-stunned slaughter.