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What kind of world are we living in when attempts to improve the treatment of and reduce the cruelty to other animals is viewed as extreme and problematic; where producers are tripping over themselves to send the animals they have raised and supposedly cared for to any market that will have them, regardless of those markets' willingness to accept and adhere to very basic standards for the "humane" handling and slaughter of livestock (if you can ever call cutting an animal's throat whilst fully conscious "humane").

The countries we export to (including Saudi Arabia) are all members of OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and yet balk at having to be seen to comply with OIE standards and allow traceability of animals into approved and audited slaughterhouses only.

Saudi sees ESCAS, which requires adherence to the very low OIE standards as "frustrating" - I find their acceptance of cruelty to and abuse of animals more than "frustrating" - it is unacceptable, as it is in any other country that slaughters animals for food, and those who don't embrace the opportunity to lessen suffering and improve welfare for these animals should be the first countries crossed of the list of acceptable destinations, on the road to the end to live animal exports. K Love

Read article here.

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The best thing that could happen for the long term welfare of animals and the long term security of producers in WA.

Full article here.

WA Sheep abcnetau

Damara sheep in WA. Photo:

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MILANDA ROUT From: The Australian February 14, 2013 12:00AM

ANGER on Labor's backbenchers over live exports is building, with one outraged MP tabling a motion in federal parliament that calls for an immediate review of the government's animal welfare rules.

Just days after The Australian revealed that more sheep had been allegedly spotted for sale and slaughter in unaccredited markets in Kuwait - the second time in six months - Steve Georganas introduced a private members motion to condemn continual breaches of the export regulations.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie also expressed his anger over the $1 billion trade yesterday in parliament, saying he received "countless email, letters and phone calls" about the issue.

"The concern expressed is urgent and genuine and the community is sick to death of this government treating animal welfare as a persistent nuisance and paying it only passing concern," he said.

steve-georganas Daily Telegraph

Mr Georganas called on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to speed up its five investigations into claimed animal cruelty in Kuwait, Pakistan, Israel and Mauritius.

"Enough is enough. Time to end the cruelty," the South Australian MP, who wants to ban live exports in favour of a domestic processing market, said yesterday.

His motion asks the House of Representatives to note "the sustained level of public concern in the community" about live animal exports.

"(I call) on the minister ... to review the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System to ensure its integrity, efficacy and adequacy," the motion reads. "(And) support the urgent finalisation of all investigations into live exports being currently conducted by DAFF."

The motion also "condemns in the strongest possible terms" the inhumane slaughter of Australian sheep in Kuwait.

The government confirmed this week it was assessing information and photographs provided by Animals Australia showing Australian sheep being sold at Kuwait City's al-Rai livestock market and the Friday local market on January 17-18.

The claims come amid another investigation that sheep were mistreated at the same market last August. They also follow the suspicious deaths in Mauritius of 65 cattle, some of which were pregnant, and the brutal culling of thousands of sheep in Pakistan amid a trade dispute last September.

Julia Gillard and Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig have faced a revolt in their ranks over the live export issue since their decision to reopen the trade to Indonesia after a month-long suspension in June 2011.

The temporary ban - which devastated the live cattle industry in northern Australia - followed the release of disturbing footage showing Australian cattle being abused in Indonesian abattoirs.

DAFF told a Senate committee hearing this week they could not give a date for the conclusion of the five investigations.

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WAFarmers president Dale Park says "The livestock export trade is not only vitally important to WA livestock producers but it is crucial to the future of agriculture in this State, so the support of the State Government has been and will be imperative to secure its future."

I'd like to see the research that backs up Mr Park's claims that live export is "crucial to the future of agriculture in WA" - surely any method which sees a reliable market for the sheep they produce is what's "crucial" - how's the reliability of markets for live sheep working out so far? They're really reliable as long as they don't have to comply with any animal welfare improvements.

What is imperative, is for the State and Federal government to support the infrastructure and actions required to immediately head towards a phasing out of live exports and make local processing a viable and price-comparable option now, which actually has the ability to process the numbers required.

The main objection to this industry, from the majority of Australians is based on the inherent cruelty involved; THAT is the reason live animal export needs to be phased out. What is "crucial" to the long term welfare of any animals raised in Australia for human consumption is that they never be exported live on ships for overseas slaughter.

And what is "crucial" for all non-Australian animals who are similarly transported long distances and/or subjected to handling and slaughter methods that don't even meet the very low OIE standards, is for OIE to step up and get serious about compliance to their standards by member countries. this is a global issue, and an issue in which Australia needs to set an example - be part of the solution, not part of the problem. K Love

Read The West article here.

AA Oman trussed sheep

Trussed sheep awaiting slaughter in Oman. Photo: Animals Australia

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LIVE sheep exports will drop to their lowest level in more than 20 years in 2013 to about 2 million animals.

Given there were 6,257,120 sheep exported live in 2001, with a fairly steady decline (apart from 2008) since then, that's over 4 million animals that will be spared at least the horrific sea voyage of three, four or five weeks.

Full article here.

Sheep truck Klove WMRS

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