Sentient media release: Live animal export

April 20, 2018


Like many Australian citizens, Sentient is outraged by the recent horrific footage of dead, dying and suffering sheep onboard five live export voyages to the Middle East. These images are not the exception; they illustrate the inherent risks to all exported sheep, particularly during the northern summer when high temperatures and humidity levels produce fatal heat stress. Sentient advocates for a permanent ban on this cruel trade, and for plans to commence a transition to the export of chilled meat. We support the members of parliament who are now calling for this through legislative change. In the meantime, immediate actions must include cessation of sheep shipments during the Middle Eastern summer, the presence of independent veterinarians onboard live export ships, CCTV coverage and reduced stocking densities. The Department of Agriculture has consistently failed to safeguard animal welfare in this industry, despite numerous reviews of standards and media exposes. We therefore support the establishment of an Independent Inspector General of Animal Welfare whose brief includes the oversight of live animal exports. We have more than enough evidence to condemn this industry, whose profitability is clearly incompatible with any acceptable standards of welfare. There can be no justification for prolonging the suffering of the animals involved.


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