Feb 13, 2007
Harrowing new footage revealing the violent treatment of Australian sheep exported to Egypt has the World Society for the Protection of Animals calling for an end to Australian live exports to the country.
The footage shows Australian sheep tied to car roof racks; thrown off vehicles and trying to escape through busy traffic; with their legs bound and having their throats roughly cut with blunt knives – practices which contravene a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Egypt signed with Australia in October 2006 for the handling and slaughter of Australian animals on foreign soil.
‘‘There is no mistake now that the Australian Government’s attempts to help Egypt improve its animal welfare standards have failed dramatically, and the result is the chaotic and brutal handling and slaughter of visibly distressed Australian sheep.‘‘
Leah Garces, WSPA‘s Director of Programs
“These appalling handling and slaughter techniques are so deeply ingrained in Egypt that any industry argument that we can educate those involved is a mere PR exercise designed to protect profits, not animals.
“Australia cannot continue to view itself as a world leader in animal welfare while knowingly sending its animals into an environment which the overwhelming majority of Australians would consider totally unacceptable,” Ms Garces said.
“This footage should be the catalyst for the Federal Government to implement a ban, effectively saying to the international community that it values the welfare of Australian animals and will no longer tolerate the intolerable cruelty inflicted on its animals overseas.
“It is now up to the Australian Government to focus on the expansion of the chilled and frozen meat trade so the export of live animals can finally be replaced.”
The WSPA, which is currently compiling a report on the global live export trade, believes Australia’s international reputation as a leader in animal welfare will suffer if it takes no action on the latest evidence of horrific treatment of its animals.
The undercover footage was taken by Animals Australia (a WSPA member society) in December 2006, two months after the MoU was signed.
Egypt represents just 1.3% of total cattle exports and around 4% of total sheep exports from Australia.
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