24 April 2018 – More than twee weeks ago, videos from a whistleblower exposed serious cruelty in Australian sheep exports, where thousands of animals died an awful death because of the heat and stress. The videos caused a shock wave throughout Australia and beyond. The Animal Justice Party (AJP), the Australian party for the animals, is demanding a total ban of the export of live animals and asks people all over the world to sign their petition to enforce changes to the policy and law. Meanwhile, international support has come for AJP’s call.
Every year, 6.5 million Australian sheep are shipped to the Middle East and Africa, where they will ultimately be slaughtered. The animals are crammed together on a transport vessel for two months with little food or water, at temperatures that may exceed 40 oC. Such vessel can hold at least 20,000 sheep and it takes 1 to 4 days to load it. During the sea voyage, any dead, dying, sick or wounded sheep are thrown into milling machines and their remains are dumped in the sea. The circumstances on board of these vessels are incredibly cruel. The whistleblower’s videos show, for example, how the terrified sheep are swimming in the excrements and urine of the sheep on the upper floors. On average 8% of the animals will not survive such a gruelling voyage. Others become crippled or get the painful virus infection ecthyma, which is also called “scabby mouth”.
The Animal Justice Party (AJP) and animal rights organisations emphasise that it’s not an incident on the videos but that this is customary practice in the entire cattle transport. The AJP, the Australian party for the animals, has been fighting against cattle transports for years and tries to put the larger parties under pressure to collaborate in changing the legislation and policy in respect of cattle transports and animal welfare. Between August 2018 and May 2019, federal elections will be held in Australia and the AJP thinks that it will gain several seats. Meanwhile, the party is calling everyone in the world who stands for a fair society to sign the petition against animal transports. You can do so here.
“We will not stop until we see a complete ban on live animal exports. As Australia’s only political party for animals, we will continue to relentlessly put pressure on Labor and Liberal Members of Parliament and candidates to acknowledge that changing the law to ban live animal exports is not only the best option for animals, but for everyone involved. Sheep are intelligent, affectionate, inquisitive, emotional beings, born into a situation they didn’t choose. They don’t have the power to get out of these situations – but we have the power to help them – and we owe them nothing less than whatever it takes to end their pain and suffering, and create a world where they are protected from cruelty and indifference,” says AJP.