Live animal export oral presentation by Emily Foley
For years the Australian export industry have proclaimed that they regard the welfare of animals highly. As cameras are prohibited from being on board we have had trust their words. However we now know that these were blatant lies.
I’d like to introduce you all to
Faisal Ullah a 25 year old graduate of Pakistan’s marine academy. Last year he took up a job as a navigation officer aboard the live animal export ship the Awassi express. After witnessing the sickening treatment of over 50,000 sheep on board Faisal decided to risk his life to blow the whistle on the brutal conditions innocent animals face below deck.
His story was broadcasted by 60 minutes this April along with the shocking footage he captured on five, three week long voyages across the Indian Ocean.
It took a singular Pakistani man to uncover the truth and expose this shameful industry that is still operating under Australian regulations. This evidence is more than enough to show that the Department of Agriculture has been all talk and no action when enforcing animal cruelty laws. They can no longer make excuses in pardoning the illegal and repulsive treatment Australian animals have suffered through due to negligence of exporters.
These sheep are fattened up for the slaughter and a majority, like this one do not even make it that far, they end up trapped in what is essentially a ‘giant oven’ literally boiling alive due to heat stress and poor ventilation in temperatures that can soar to above 40 C. Sheep on these journeys are also forced onto a pellet diet and if they don’t adapt to it, they starve to death.
According to leading welfare scientists on these journeys sheep are not given a lot more than the space they physically occupy. This is unacceptable. I can hardly even stand upright during my five to nine shift without getting tired! So how in the world do exporters think that these helpless creatures can endure constantly standing, battling against the tide on journeys that can last up to 8 weeks? And guess what those who actually manage to lie down are forced to lay in a pool of faeces among decaying carcasses.
On the Awassi express over 2,400 sheep suffered an agonizing and slow death. In one day over 800 died. That’s one death every two minutes. Export regulations clearly state ‘Any sick or injured livestock are to be given immediate treatment and be killed humanely where euthanasia is necessary’. But when mortality rates are so high how can one vet on board keep up when sheep are dropping like files.
Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident.
Investigations by Animals Australia have found that more than 200 million animals have been crammed onto filthy cargo ships over the last 30 years. More than 2.5 million of them have suffered a gruesome death. Just think about all the poor farmers who hand over their animals to these companies thinking they are being treated with utmost care.
A case study by PETA Australia found that the trade is one of the top contributors to carbon emissions in Australia. The disposal of billions of litres of their untreated waste into the ocean is posing a huge threat to marine life and the future of our planet.
Not even gentle newborn lambs are privy to this revolting torture. Very few lambs born will ever see the outside world. Most are crushed under foot or killed by crew who are required to slit their throats because regulations state that no pregnant sheep are to be loaded onto these ships.
These innocent and defenseless creatures were probably left there to rot then thrown over the side of the ship like a piece of worthless garbage, a failure to the industry, an industry who takes pride in promoting their slogan “no fear, no pain”.
It is utterly inconceivable that this violation of animal welfare continues to occur despite ongoing support from the Australian public for a ban. A poll conducted by the RSPCA this April made it clear that 3 in 4 Australians want live export to end. So why does this disgrace of a practice still continue in light of the overwhelming public disregard for the industries devious and dastardly antics?
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC) claims that banning live animal export will have a detrimental effect on the economy. It shouldn’t be a surprise when I tell you all this is just another blatant lie. Statistics provided by the RSPCA shows that since 2009 live exports have dropped by more than forty percent while frozen meat exports have increased by a third. The industry is in decline.
Live animal export is:
• Damaging Australia’s reputation
• Draining jobs and money from the Australian economy
• And failing to protect Australian animals from cruelty.
Abolishing the live animal trade and transitioning into a meat processing and export market will:
• Create thousands of jobs for local communities and farmers
• Allow animals to be euthanized in a controlled and humane environment
• And save millions of lives from suffering a long grueling death.
This is deliberate animal cruelty. There is no justification for this. Blood is on the hands of each and every person who turns a blind eye, letting this disgusting practice continue on.
We all have the responsibility to speak up and stop this once and for all. All you need to do is email, phone or arrange a meeting with our local MP Nick Staikos and raise your voice against animal cruelty in the live export industry.
As Faisal said, “Nobody from Australia will allow this trade to continue.”
An industry that promises to do better is no longer enough.