Activists eye sheep exports

Lauren Celenza and AAPCountryman

The animal rights group that stopped live exports to Indonesia has turned its sights on the sheep industry.

This week, Animals Australia re-released images of sheep being mistreated in Kuwait City. They show Merinos being dragged and jammed into car boots.

Lyn White, the activist who led the video investigations into both Indonesia and Kuwait, said the community demanded a total ban on live exports.

“There is nothing that is going to prevent this treatment (in Kuwait City) from re-occurring this year, ” she said.

“Evidence of horrendous treatment of Australian sheep in the Middle East has been consistently presented to Government over the past eight years.”

York sheep producer Peter Boyle said talk of a ban on the entire live export industry would cripple regional WA and leave many farmers with little choice but to leave the industry.

He said any disruption of trade would initially force prices down before farmers walked away, after which prices would rocket due to lack of product.

In response to the Animals Australia footage, a joint statement from Meat and Livestock Australia, LiveCorp, Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Cattle Council of Australia, National Farmers’ Federation and the Sheepmeat Council of Australia said a special taskforce would scrutinise and audit Australia’s live exports and supply chains to all markets.

“The Federal Government’s independent review into Australia’s livestock export trade will examine the live animal export supply chain from paddock to the point of processing for all markets that receive Australian livestock,” the statement said.

“This reform will contribute to the design and application of new safeguards for animal welfare.

“Australia is one of the only country that invests in improving animal welfare in overseas markets.”

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