Australia rallies against live exports

Australia rallies against live exports - 17th October 2015


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Animal welfare activists are joining forces around Australia to rally against the live export trade.

Rallies are being held by Animals Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Fremantle and Hobart on Saturday.

At the Melbourne rally, the message was: It's time to stop the 'shiploads of misery' leaving Australia for the Middle East.

Hundreds of people lined the steps of Victoria's parliament house to call for an end to live exports, with Greens MP Adam Bandt calling Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce 'the minister for animal cruelty'.

'Barnaby Joyce as the minister who is overseeing this torture, it is an incredible double standard to use the law against Johnny Depp's dogs, but when it comes to live exports he turns a blind eye,' Mr Bandt told the crowd.

He said ensuring animals were treated with respect could not be done from behind a desk in Canberra, and action had to be taken in the Middle East.

'I would love to handcuff some of the most vocal supporters of live exports in the heat in Kuwait for a few hours - a few hours watching sheep being brutally shoved into cars in the heat,' Lyn White from Animals Australia said.

Ms White said evidence of the treatment towards Australian sheep was presented to the government six weeks before a another three shiploads were sent to Kuwait.

The federal government this week said it was looking into allegations that Australian sheep ready for slaughter are being mistreated in the Middle East.

The Department of Agriculture is investigating reports that thousands of sheep were found outside animal welfare-approved abattoirs in Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates during the recent Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Mr Joyce has left the door open to fining or suspending the licences of exporters found in breach of Australia's animal welfare export rules.