When the northern summer sailing ban lifts in a couple of weeks, live export ships carrying sheep will again be able to leave Australia for the Middle East. So once again tens of thousands of Australian sheep will be crammed onboard ships, like the Al Kuwait and Awassi Express, and who can forget the shocking images of animal cruelty within these hellish hulls on voyages gone by.
The simple fact is that we already know that many animals simply won’t survive the long journeys that are about to resume and instead will die an agonising and slow death. How on earth this country persists with such terrible cruelty beggars belief.
You know it’s ten years since Australia recoiled from the horrors of the live export trade when Four Corners aired A Bloody Business, its expose of the live cattle trade to Indonesia. And shamefully little has changed, with Australia last year exporting almost two million live sheep and cattle, and the Government more determined than ever to grow the vile trade.
And this must stop. For a start, decisions on animal welfare must be taken out of the hands of Ministers and bureaucrats and given to a new, independent animal-welfare agency. The live export trade in particular must be outlawed because it’s cruel, costs Australian jobs and lacks public support. Frankly the only way to end the cruelty, is to end the trade.