WAV Comment – at this very moment we are putting together our own dossier on this Romanian situation, along with other EU transport issues which concern us. We will publish when completed.
Not everything that we want to hear about the trade, but some very positive news from Animals Australia. We know that they have been involved with the Romanian case; and together hopefully we can apply pressure to the EU and get yet more changes.
Investigations Unit update:
The recent Festival of Sacrifice confirmed for me just how critical the presence of our live export investigators has been over many years — and how grateful I am for your steadfast support in deploying them.
While our investigators returned home deeply weary from the extreme heat and the distressing cruelty they filmed across eight countries, their spirits were lifted considerably through witnessing the impact of our efforts on behalf of animals. When I think back to 2003, and the treatment I witnessed then, the change you’ve helped achieve is remarkable.
Previously the livestock markets were bursting with sheep, but this year, because of the shipping restrictions we achieved in the Australian live export trade, fewer animals were available for sale and sacrifice than on any earlier year, likely sparing around 500,000 Australian sheep from stifling summer conditions and fully conscious slaughter. It was incredibly heartening to know that our work has led to an overall reduction in animal suffering.
Importantly, we are also witnessing significant changes in how animals are being handled and treated. During my first years conducting investigations, gutters of livestock markets would be flowing with blood. Now, street slaughter is a rarity and authorities are enforcing rules that prohibit home slaughter in countries such as UAE. We have always known that shifts in attitudes are critical to lasting change for animals, and it seems our work is beginning to help achieve this.
Yet our investigations once more highlighted the uncaring cruelty of the live export business model, as the Kuwaiti exporter denied the opportunity to ship Australian sheep has turned to Romania – Europe’s biggest exporting country.
This company would have thought they were rid of Animals Australia by turning their sights on Romania. But again, they have underestimated us. Our Investigations Unit continued to monitor and follow their activities and we ensured our investigators were in Kuwait to meet their first shipment of Romanian sheep and film the resultant cruelty.
Our investigators found Romanian sheep languishing in feedlots, in soaring Middle Eastern summer temperatures.
Our evidence of Romanian animals suffering and dying from heat stress, being shoved into car boots and facing crude fully conscious slaughter is part of a powerful legal complaint being presented to the European Commission that such shipments to the Middle East breach their regulations. In addition, the evidence of sheep suffering heat stress will actively support the passage of a bill before the Romanian Parliament which would replicate the summer ban in place on Australian shipments. This would be a huge step forward for Romanian animals, as it has been here.
He was exported alive from Romania, only to be stuffed in a car boot and face a terrifying death while fully conscious. We are working urgently to protect other animals like him.
To ensure that the suffering of animals during our Festival of Sacrifice investigations received national attention, our EU Director, Gabriel Paun, released vision to major news outlets in Romania late last week. This sparked numerous stories and the resultant outcry has added urgency to political action on live export.
Evidence gathered by our investigators during the Festival of Sacrifice is also set to have implications on other continents as well. Earlier this week, our courageous Legal Counsel Shatha Hamade — who conducted investigations in Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar — flew to South Africa armed with evidence that will assist their leading animal protection group to protect their animals from the live export trade. She will provide an update once her work there begins. We are similarly working with a leading animal protection group in Brazil. More on that to come, too…
Mark, you can see that tracking and investigating the live export trade is taking us to all corners of the globe, to places we never expected to visit. Our investigators have on numerous occasions faced great tests of their courage and their resilience. But on each and every occasion they draw strength from the animals, from local advocates and from your committed support.
No one knows where or when this journey ends, but what I do know, is that every time we shine a light on this trade, progress is being made.
I could not be more grateful to you. Thank you for staying the course with us and allowing us to be where the animals need us most.
For the animals,
Lyn White – Animals Australia..
P.S. The power of publicly exposing live export cruelty achieved a historic milestone recently closer to home, with the Western Australian government launching criminal prosecution against the Directors of Emanuel Exports – the live export company responsible for thousands of Australian sheep “cooking alive” on live export ships. We know that live export can’t withstand open examination by an informed community, and we will pursue every avenue to replicate this progress elsewhe