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live animal export




Australian sheep disembarking live export shipAustralian sheep disembarking live export shipAustralia is the world’s largest exporter of live animals for slaughter. Every year, millions of Australian cattle, sheep, and goats are exported alive to be killed in the Middle East, South East Asia, North Africa, and the Philippines  where animal welfare laws do not exist to protect them. Tens of thousands of animals die before reaching their destination. Those who survive the grueling journey are transported, handled, and slaughtered in horrific ways.

Multi-tiered ships hold the animals on the voyage overseas to their cruel deaths. The decks are often enclosed without adequate ventilation, dust and ammonia builds up and leaves many sheep blind and suffering from severe respiratory infections. Decks that are open sided have no climate control and leave the animals exposed to extreme weather conditions. Voyages can last up to 24 days; cages are hardly ever cleaned, forcing animals to stand in their own urine and feces. A shipboard mortality rate of 1-1.5% is considered acceptable in the industry. Around 50% of shipboard deaths are caused by starvation when sheep, accustomed to a grass diet, are unable to digest the pellet diet they are forced to eat. Other causes of death are infection, heat, stress, ventilation problems, and injuries resulting from abusive handling and rough seas.

The reality of conditions on the live export shipsThe reality of conditions on the live export ships
Australian sheep dragged to slaughter while others watchAustralian sheep dragged to slaughter while others watch Kicking of sheep in AbbatoirKicking of sheep in abbattoir

Unloading and throwing of Sheep in Jordan - Photo credit Animals AngelsUnloading and throwing of Sheep in Jordan - Photo credit Animals AngelsThe animals who survive the hellish journey will then be subjected to a cruel and inhumane death. A majority of the animals will have their throats cut while they are fully conscious, leading to prolonged pain and terror. Undercover video taken by Animals Australia shows fully conscious sheep flailing in agony for 30-40 seconds after having their throats slit. For cattle, the agony may last up to 90 seconds. Terrified animals slip on the blood-covered floors as they are forced to watch their companions slaughtered. There are no restraining facilities to control the panic-stricken animals who are desperate to escape. Victims are dragged to the slaughter area by a hind leg hit and kicked to the ground, frequently breaking bones in the process. Video also shows slaughterers fighting to control frightened animals by slashing leg tendons, smashing knees with hammers, tail breaking, and eye gouging. One animal with a broken leg was tortured for 26 minutes before being killed.

Trussed terrified Australian sheep in Kuwaiti slaughter lineTrussed terrified Australian sheep in Kuwaiti slaughter lineMany live sheep are bought for Halal slaughter (Halal describes what is lawful for Muslims to eat - animals must be alive when their throats are slashed). Undercover footage shows sheep being strung up with wire and forced into car trunks in sweltering heat for the journey to the buyer’s home. Once at their destination they are carried by their bound legs, which frequently break, and dropped onto the ground. They are fully conscious as their throats are cut, writhing in their own blood for over a minute before losing consciousness.

The evidence gathered against Australia's live animal export trade during investigations conducted by Animals Australia over the last eight years is damning. No amount of profit or excuses can justify Australia's continued involvement in live animal export and the abominable cruelty inflicted on animals. Join LCA and Animals Australia to help put an end to Australian live animal export.

Sheep stuffed in truckSheep stuffed in truck Sheep tied on roof in EgyptSheep tied on roof in Egypt



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