For the first time in 2018, we saw evidence of the shocking conditions on five separate voyages on-board a live sheep export ship from Australia.
The evidence – provided by a concerned whistle-blower working on the Awassi Express - finally showed what it’s really like on board a standard long-haul live export voyage from Australia to the Middle East.
This isn’t one bad journey, one bad exporter, or a few animals that have slipped outside the system.
This is what’s happening to animals routinely, under Australian standards, and under the full control of the Australian Government, live export companies and the live export industry.
This is the reality for sheep live-exported from Australia.
We watched as conditions rapidly deteriorate along the three-week journey, as sheep suffer and die, surrounded by sickness, death and waste.
You can watch the story here, but please be warned - it’s very distressing.
Now, we have to make sure this can never happen again.
We’re working to stop the suffering, for good.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
Since footage of that horrific journey on the Awassi Express was revealed in April 2018, the Department of Agriculture launched a number of review processes into the management of animal welfare on live export ships.
This included a review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), and a review of the Heat Stress Risk Assessment for live sheep journeys.
We’re still waiting to get the final outcomes of the heat stress review, but the good news is that after months of intense advocacy, and thousands of submissions from compassionate Australians, the Department prohibited live sheep journeys to the Middle East during the hottest months of the year between June and August.
Most recently, the Department released recommendations on heat stress regulatory conditions for September and October journeys, and is proposing three options, one of which is to cease journeys in September as well.
The RSPCA is calling for all live sheep exports to end, but as a priority, for the prohibition on journeys to the Middle East to extend for the entirety of the high risk period from May to October.
We are awaiting the outcomes of this review, and we’ll keep you informed on the next steps.