The live animal exportation tradebreaks every animal welfare law ever written, but yet is allowed to continue, despite tipping the scale as one of the cruellest activities created by man on planet earth.
There are approximately 20 countries which export live animals for slaughter, with France, Canada and Australia exporting the most cattle. Australia has, over the past 30 years, exported over 2.5 million live sheep. New Zealand ceased live exports in 2003 after ongoing public protests, and a series of horror events ending with a ship carrying 57 000 New Zealand sheep being rejected by Saudi Arabia. Unable to port anywhere, most of the sheep died. Survivors were “gifted” to Eritrea, where they were slaughtered in primitive abattoirs. After this atrocity, New Zealand stopped exports.
The EU developed laws pertaining to travel conditions and care of live export animals, but there is no humane, or “cruelty free” way of loading, then transporting, thousands of animals in ships for weeks on end, and it is preposterous to think of the hours spent by humans writing welfare laws thinking that they could make it so. The global live animal trade is worth billions of US Dollars, but the extreme cruelty is what the public doesn’t see. Animals which could be delivered “on hook” to feed a community, end up dead en route and are tossed overboard, making them worthless to anyone.
In South Africa, 61 000 sheep were recently loaded onto a ship (the Al Shuwaikh) in East London destined for middle eastern destinations including Kuwait, where there are no animal welfare laws at all. The conditions on board were beyond comprehension and again, the South African Animal Protection Act was ignored, while the sheep suffered horrific handling and on board conditions before the ship had even left the dock. The SA Government has ignored welfare’s written reports and welfare concerns. They ignored objections and protests, and signed a contract for 600 000 animals to be exported. And so the cruelty will continue.
ARO condemns live exportation of animals from SA, and joins with other welfare movements in SA to publicise, condemn and, we hope, ban the live exportation of animals from South Africa. The only way to stop it is to confront it. We ask for your support along the way.