News, Culture & Society

Protesters mass as are animals loaded onto live export ship in South Australia

Tens of thousands of animals are being loaded onto a live export ship in South Australia as protesters gather in force to echo calls for changes to the live export trade.

The Greens are also protesting the ship and are leading calls for the Bader II to be stopped from leaving port due to its history with live exports, News.com.au reported. 

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young directly referenced the history of live stock on the ship.

 

Tens of thousands of animals are being loaded onto alive export ship in South Australia as protesters gather at the gates

‘This ship has the highest recorded number of sheep deaths,’ she said.

‘It is a ship of death.’ 

Today, the RSPCA released results from a new poll into live exports which showed that three in four Australians were against the practice.

The poll also found that seven out of 10 rural Australians were against the practice. 

RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist and Strategy Officer Dr Bidda Jones said the consistency of opposition to live exports was interesting. 

‘This data absolutely flies in the face of industry excuses, that opposition to live exports is centered in city areas and among people with no direct experience of farming,’ she said. 

‘That’s simply not true.’ 

Opposition to live exports is strongest in South Australia, site of today’s protests, with four in five people against the practice.

'This ship has the highest recorded number of sheep deaths, it is a ship of death,' Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said

‘This ship has the highest recorded number of sheep deaths, it is a ship of death,’ Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said

Opposition to live exports is strongest in South Australia, site of today's protests, with four in five people against the practise

Opposition to live exports is strongest in South Australia, site of today’s protests, with four in five people against the practise

These results followed calls form the RSPCA to halve the stocking density on all future sheep shipments along with a total ban on exports to the Middle East in the months of May to October.

The protests escalated after The Awassi Express was held up for three weeks in Fremantle after improvements needed to be completed on the ships’s ventilation.  

Former Liberal minister Sussan Ley will soon introduce a private members’ bill to phase out live sheep exports to the Middle East, as calls grow from across the political divide to end the trade.

Ms Ley, a former farmer from NSW, said she was becoming increasingly incredulous at the ‘business as usual’ approach by exporters to sheep deaths aboard their ships.

‘I want to see this live sheep trade permanently cease,’ she told Sky News on Thursday. 

Former Liberal minister Sussan Ley will soon introduce a private members' bill to phase out live sheep exports to the Middle East

Former Liberal minister Sussan Ley will soon introduce a private members’ bill to phase out live sheep exports to the Middle East

Ms Ley said it was 'inherently impossible' to transport sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer in a humane way

Ms Ley said it was ‘inherently impossible’ to transport sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer in a humane way

Labor backbencher Josh Wilson also broke ranks with his party on Thursday, saying he had a long-held view the trade should end

Labor backbencher Josh Wilson also broke ranks with his party on Thursday, saying he had a long-held view the trade should end

‘We have to lift our eyes; we have to focus on what is really happening and we have to recognise that these exporters have had years, if not decades, to clean up their act.’

Ms Ley said it was ‘inherently impossible’ to transport sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer in a humane way.

‘Particularly if the exporters are not interested in doing it,’ she said, outlining plans to introduce the legislation next month.

Labor backbencher Josh Wilson also broke ranks with his party on Thursday, saying he had a long-held view the trade should end.

‘There are a lot of people across the parliament who when they look at the evidence around the long haul live export of sheep recognise that this can’t continue,’ Mr Wilson told Sky News.

But Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack rejected the proposal, citing the repercussion of the Gillard government’s ‘knee-jerk’ decision to shut down the live cattle trade in 2011.

‘I don’t believe that we should ban the trade holus-bolus,’ he told the National Press Club.

Meanwhile, live exporters have agreed to establish an independent inspector to oversee the under-fire trade.

After years of opposition to the idea, the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council voted in Brisbane on Wednesday to establish an independent inspector-general to observe the treatment of livestock onboard ships.

It comes after shocking footage emerged last week of sheep dying in inhumane conditions on a ship bound for the Middle East, sparking outrage.

But Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack rejected the proposal, citing the repercussion of the Gillard government's 'knee-jerk' decision to shut down the live cattle trade in 2011

But Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack rejected the proposal, citing the repercussion of the Gillard government’s ‘knee-jerk’ decision to shut down the live cattle trade in 2011

‘Exporters are listening to the community and acting decisively to achieve change in the industry,’ ALEC chairman Simon Crean said in a statement.

‘The welfare of the animals and the future of our industry depends on it.’

Labor’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon is surprised by the shift in attitude from the industry, given the ALEC and National Farmers’ Federation railed against the opposition’s policy ahead of the 2016 election.

Ms Ley believes an independent inspector is at risk of being a ‘toothless tiger’ which acts as a band-aid solution.

The government has launched reviews into the regulator and the northern summer trade of livestock, as well as a whistleblower hotline.

Greens senator Nick McKim said if there wasn’t parliamentary support to end the trade, his party would consider supporting a new regulator.

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.