Environmentalists Need to Acknowledge Animal Agriculture’s War on the Planet, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
18 April 2013

Sydney – As the world celebrates Earth Day on 22 April, a study published today by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia and sent to lawmakers and environmentalists reveals that the live-animal export industry – in which millions of sheep, goats and cattle are packed onto crowded boats and shipped off to be slaughtered overseas every year – is among the biggest carbon polluters in Australia. According to industry figures, Australian exports of live cattle and sheep are responsible for approximately 1.8 million tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions – the equivalent of 320,000 cars – which puts the live-export industry among the top 40 carbon-dioxide emitters in Australia.

The multi-tiered ships used to transport the animals are so large and heavy that some burn as much as 45 tonnes of fuel a day. The carbon-dioxide emissions generated by the live-export trade are higher than those produced by Virgin Australia, Conoco, BP Regional, Shell in Australia and AGL Energy. Despite these staggering figures, the Australian government has bailed out the live-export industry with $100 million in public funds, instead of holding it liable for roughly $40 million in carbon tax.

“Packing millions of animals on gas-guzzling ‘death ships’ bound for the Middle East and North Africa is a dirty business with an enormous carbon footprint”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “Environmentalists have to face the fact that the live-export industry is using taxpayers’ money to pollute the atmosphere.”

Nearly 3 million sheep, more than 750,000 cattle and nearly 100,000 goats are exported from Australia every year. Tens of thousands of them die en route from heat exhaustion, injuries, lack of sustenance and disease, among other causes. When they arrive at their destinations, they are abused and slaughtered in ways that are illegal in Australia.

A copy of PETA Australia’s detailed report is attached. For more information, please visit