Home > New animal cruelty footage emerges from the Middle East

New animal cruelty footage emerges from the Middle East

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Animal welfare group, Animals Australia shot footage earlier this month of the serious mistreatment of Australian sheep in Jordan, placing cruelty within the live animal export trade in the spotlight once again.

The footage which was supplied by the group to the ABC, shows sheep being sold individually and then slaughtered in the street in extremely inhumane ways.  The footage also shows other animals having stones thrown at them and sheep being stuffed in to the back of car boots and vans.

Animals Australia said that the sheep are identifiable as Australian due to the appearance of the animals, and ear tags that identify which farms the animals come from.

Animals Australia raised concerns earlier this month by alerting the Federal Department of Agriculture to the severe breaches of live export regulations occurring in Jordan and Kuwait, where Australian sheep were being sold at roadside markets in the lead up to the Eid Al-Adha festival - a Muslim festival that is celebrated by slaughtering sheep and sharing the meat with those in need.

The Federal Government introduced the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS)in 2011 following evidence of animal cruelty in Indonesia which made livestock exporters responsible for the treatment of animals during transit and right up to the point of slaughter.

“One of the primary motivators for the introduction of these regulations was to prevent the brutal treatment of Australian animals documented every year during this religious festival,” said Animals Australia Campaign Director Lyn White in a statement.

White said that she saw over 10,000 Australian animals sold outside the ESCAS system at 32 different locations over the two days that the footage was filmed.

White said that she believes the Department of Agriculture has instigated an investigation into the serious breaches of the system.

"It's the failure of the exporter to respond that I think has shocked the Department of Agriculture and the industry itself, who know that what is absolute contempt for the regulations is completely contrary to the interests of the industry, let alone to the interests of Australian animals, "White toldLateline.

Only two companies export sheep to Jordon from Australia, Livestock Shipping Services and Wellard. Wellard states that none of the animals depicted in the footage were supplied by the company.

"Wellard has viewed the footage and none of the sheep pictured were supplied by Wellard to our Jordanian customer," the company said in a statement.

"In addition, a post-Eid Festival ESCAS audit conducted by an independent, accredited auditor, and the reports from the large team Wellard sent to Jordan to assist our client with animal welfare both indicated that our client's supply chain remained robust and that animal welfare was maintained."

The other exporter, Livestock Shipping Services, confirmed that some of the animals in the footage originated from farms where the company sources.

Livestock Shipping Services said that the treatment of the animals was “unacceptable” and that the company with launch an investigation as to how the sheep ended up being sold outside the ESCAS system.

Image: www.theland.com.au

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