Aboard the live-export vessel Awassi Express, trainee navigator Faisal Ullah broke the rules of his employment when he not only took along a camera but also then shared with the world the resulting footage showing the suffering of the 64,000 sheep on the ship.
What he captured caused a seismic shift in the public’s view of one of Australia’s cruellest industries. His bravery and compassion are what make him PETA’s 2018 Person of the Year.
The shocking images Ullah captured revealed that sheep aboard the Awassi Express had so little room to move that many couldn’t reach food or water. During the journey from Fremantle, Western Australia, some 2,400 animals died from heat stress, meaning they were essentially cooked alive.
Ullah spoke up when he saw the injustice being committed against animals. He shone a much-needed light on the rarely seen abuse and neglect that occur aboard live-export vessels. He told 60 Minutes Australia that he couldn’t stay silent about what he had witnessed.
“Because of the suffering of the animals, the severity of the suffering, I could not tolerate that. I was unable to keep it to myself only,”he said.
63,000 sheep are on board the Awassi Express travelling from Fremantle to the Middle East. The conditions on board are so terrible, crewman Faisal Ullah felt compelled to break the ship’s rules – and risk his career – to show the animal’s suffering. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/zdOTRdVgpy
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) April 8, 2018
Because of his actions, many Australians have been inspired to be more vocal about ending live export – and governments around the world are listening.
After the footage was aired, India announced a ban on the export of animals for slaughter from all its seaports and Israel‘s Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill to stop live transport to that country.
We must continue to pressure the Australian government to end this barbaric trade.