Move Spurred by Most Recent Abuse of Cattle in Egypt

For Immediate Release:
3 June 2013

Canberra – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia has sent a letter to Alison Penfold, chief executive officer of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, offering to purchase and pay for the installation of webcams on all ships used to transport sheep and cattle to foreign ports as well as in the slaughterhouses where the animals are killed in those countries. In its letter, PETA points out that if conditions both on the ships and at overseas slaughterhouses are too horrific to be viewed on public surveillance cameras, then they’re also too horrific for the industry to support.

“Live-export industry officials steadfastly maintain that Australian animals are treated humanely during both transport and slaughter, and we’re giving them the opportunity to prove it”, says PETA Australia’s Jason Baker. “If they are truly concerned about the sheep’s and cattle’s welfare and have nothing to hide, they should accept our offer to install webcams in a heartbeat.”

Sheep and cattle die by the tens of thousands each year when they are crowded together on multi-tiered, open-decked ships for voyages across thousands of kilometres of sea, during which the temperatures regularly reach more than 40 degrees. During these agonising journeys – which can take several days or even weeks – many animals die of starvation or heat exhaustion or are trampled by their terrified penmates.

Investigations by PETA and its affiliates have revealed that sheep and cattle who survived the gruelling ocean voyage from Australia were dragged by the ears and legs onto trucks, kicked in the face and hauled to backyard slaughterhouses, where their throats were cut while they were still conscious.

PETA’s letter to Alison Penfold is available upon request. For more information, please visit