MEDIA RELEASE - 9 April 2018
Call for Minister Littleproud to end live sheep export cruelty, stop Awassi Express loading
In the wake of the shocking, cruel deaths of 2800 sheep exported from Perth to Doha on the Awassi Express the Greens are calling on the Turnbull government to withdraw permission for the ship to load the current flock of sheep in Fremantle, and for the live sheep trade to be wound up.
“Minister David Littleproud has the power and responsibility to end the cruelty and mass deaths of thousands of sheep. He must stop sheep being loaded onto the Awassi Express,” Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“If the Minister fails to act he will be effectively condoning the horrific and illegal acts we saw on the 60 Minutes-Animals Australia exposure screened last night.
“The level of cruelty was deeply shocking. Thanks to a courageous whistle blower, Faisal Ullah a trainee navigator, we viewed the distressing evidence that includes sheep baking to death.
“For years I have been saying that the welfare of Australia’s live exports cannot be managed from a desk in Canberra. The footage shot by Mr Faisal shows how extensively the Department of Agriculture has failed.
“The Department’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System has been shown up as useless and dangerous as it has allowed successive governments to justify the continuation of this cruel trade.
“Now the ugly truth has been revealed the cruelty must stop. There is no justification for the Minister giving the industry ‘one more chance’ as he said last night on 60 Minutes.
“Mass deaths of sheep on export boats have happened before. The difference is this time we have video evidence.
“If the Minister does not act to transition the sheep meat industry away from live exports to processing the sheep at Australian abattoirs he will be complicit in facilitating further cruelty.
“The Greens plan to relaunch our campaign to end the live export trade and transition the industry to processing livestock in Australia and expanding Australia’s trade in boxed, chilled meat. The place to start is ending the live export of sheep.