This year once again, millions of Australian sheep and cattle will endure days or even weeks crammed onto filthy ships, travelling through all weather extremes, to arrive at slaughter destinations with few or no laws to prevent their suffering. These animals may die on the journey from starvation, injury or disease, and if they make it to their destination, they may have their throats slit with a dull blade in filthy markets while they are still conscious.
Despite numerous video exposÃ©s, ongoing campaigns by PETA and other animal welfare groups and a litany of disasters and tragedies, somehow the Australian government continues to support those who conduct live export, even though the majority of the Australian public wants to see an end to this cruel trade.
In the past year, PETA has written to numerous government officials, held demonstrations and created an educational print ad and video featuring Aria Awardâ€“winning group The Audreys, all to try to keep live export in the public eye.
With the latest scandal over diseased sheep who were refused port at Bahrain and then were unloaded in Pakistan, only to be “culled” as local authorities saw fit despite pleas from the Australian government, it is clear that Australian animals have no protection once they leave our shores. No guidelines, recommendations or agreements can make the live-export journey a humane one.
The only way to stop the suffering of millions of Australian animals is to ban live export once and for all. Perhaps we have become desensitized to the suffering of these animals because it happens so frequently, but truly, each of us has a responsibility to speak up for these gentle creatures, who face a hellish journey, a terrifying wait and an agonising slaughter.
Posted by Claire Fryer