years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Australian sheep restrained for street slaughter Kuwait.
Over the past 30 years Australia has exported over 200 million animals to the Middle East to countries where there are no laws to protect them from animal cruelty. During that time over 2.5 million animals have died enroute.
Since 2003, Animals Australia has been conducting investigations in the region to obtain evidence as to how Australian animals were being brutally handled and slaughtered. Investigators have documenting conditions at feedlots, market places and abattoirs.
Last month Animals Australia returned to Kuwait to attend the Eid al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), a 3 day festival held at the end of the Hajj each year. Many Muslims purchase and ‘sacrifice’ an animal on the first morning of the Eid. Due to the sheer scale of numbers of animals being purchased and slaughtered – both at home or in public places by inexperienced slaughterers – or in abattoirs that are working at 10 times their normal capacity resulting in tired and impatient workers – this Festival represents the peak time of animal suffering in the Middle East.
This year some 800,000 Australian sheep were sent to the Middle East for this Festival – almost a quarter of Australia’s annual exports. The majority of these animals were brutally handled without any thought whatsoever for their welfare and slaughtered by having their throats cut with blunt or inappropriate knives whilst fully conscious. Nearly all of the treatment documented by Animals Australia investigators is contrary to Islamic teachings and in contravention of the OIE (World Animal Health) guidelines for the handling, transport and slaughter or animals.
Some of the footage taken (a tiny part of course) can be seen on the Animals Australia website, as well as on the ABC TV’s 7.30 Report that reported the investigation and is the first story.
Animals Australia has meet with Australia’s new Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig and they believe that for the first time in four years they have a Minister “that will at least listen to us”. Minister Ludwig knows the importance of community support – and there is none for live export. He has already issued a statement acknowledging the abuse and stated – “I am working closely with both industry and animal welfare groups to find practical ways to ensure livestock exported from Australia are no longer exposed to this kind of treatment and are processed in appropriate facilities”.
Comments like these from Minister Ludwig are easy to make, but it is real action to protect the animals from this ongoing cruelty that needs to be taken.
Trussed sheep manhandled into a car boot in Kuwait.
Three sheep crammed into a boot, for home sacrifice.
Animals Asia has written to the Minister and the Prime Minister and I urge you to write a letter to Minister Ludwig and the Australian Prime Minister, condemning the cruelty and barbarity inflicted on the animals caught up in this miserable trade and informing them that whilst it continues, Australia sending animals to the Middle East without any assurance and clear non-compliance with the OIE Guidelines (for transport and slaughter), works to undermine the work of the OIE and will delay the application of those Guidelines for all animals in the region. Furthermore, it sends the wrong message to those countries that Australia is happy with the way its animals are treated!
Aftermath of street slaughter of Australian sheep in Kuwait.
Bull awaits throat cut in the streets of Kuwait.
However and more importantly, please also make it clear that you do not believe the treatment and welfare of animals both during the long-distance transportation to and on arrival at countries in the Middle East can ever be guaranteed and therefore live exports should be replaced by the carcass trade, where the animals are stunned prior to slaughter within Australia. Pre-slaughter stunning is already accepted as halal in Australia by the Islamic community and the vast majority of Muslim importers.
Australian sheep bound with wire sold for sacrifice in Kuwait.
The contact details for the Minister are:
Senator Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
E-mail: [email protected]