Campaigners who locked themselves to a gate and ship today at Fremantle Port are to be congratulated for highlighting cruelty concerns associated with the live export of Australian sheep and cattle, says Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
"Animal activists are understandably keen to gather evidence to publicly highlight the plight of sheep being exported. They filmed sheep heavily pregnant and with broken legs on the ship.
"The live export industry has failed to prevent the suffering and deaths of 2.5 million animals during transportation over the past three decades.
"The public outcry and protests will not go away until the cruel and immoral live export trade is stopped. The public understandably has little confidence that the government's new supply chain regime will be successful.
"This trade continues to cause unacceptable suffering for animals. The existing safeguards cannot eliminate cruelty from the live export trade and the slaughter of animals in overseas markets.
"Just last month there was another disaster on board a Brazilian-owned live export ship bound for Egypt, resulting in the death of up to 3,000 cattle.
"Animals Australia described the tragedy as one of the worst shipboard disasters the live export industry has seen in many years.
"Between 2008-2010 approximately 2,697,569 cattle were exported from Australia, in the same three years 10,751,169 sheep were exported and 254,798 goats.
"Sheep are exported from Fremantle, Portland and Port Adelaide to Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
"Building the Australian meat processing industry and banning live exports is the best approach to ending animal cruelty and creating local jobs," Senator Rhiannon said.