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For decades, Australians have been calling for an end to live-animal exports. Investigation after investigation has revealed the egregious cruelty Australian animals are subjected to for this trade, showing sick sheep and cattle caked with waste aboard crowded, heaving ships as they're sent to Asia or the Middle East, before being slaughtered in ways that would be illegal here.
Public and political awareness of this issue is at an all-time high, and we're closer than ever to stopping these boats crammed full of terrified animals from leaving our shores. Will you help?
Animals transported by sea from Australia to the Middle East. © Jo-Anne McArthur / Israel Against Live Shipments
Now as the world deals with COVID-19, scientists are warning of the potential for the live-export industry – with a business model of crowding stressed animals onto filthy ships – to be breeding grounds for the next zoonotic pandemic. Speaking on Australian national television, epidemiologist Marylouise McLaws said that live-animal export "can't be safe" and warned of a "ghastly disease" outbreak.
Then there's the fact that the live-export trade is one of the top 40 carbon dioxide emitters in Australia. Cattle and sheep are often transported thousands of kilometres by truck before reaching the ships, while the empty vessels journeying back to Australia to collect their next load create further emissions. In addition, raising cattle and sheep also generates large amounts of greenhouse gases.
Two pieces of legislation have the potential to change the fate of millions of animals and the course of history. Greens Member of Parliament (MP) Andrew Wilkie and Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi have introduced bills in the lower and upper house, respectively, that would see an end to the export of live animals for slaughter, if passed.
These bills must pass through the House of Representatives, and your local member will be asked to vote. Please use this form to urge your MP to support these legislative initiatives to end live exports.