Day: June 15, 2020

USA: I Worked Undercover In Several Slaughterhouses.

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With thanks to Stacey at ‘Our Compass’ for sending this over. Mark.

https://our-compass.org/

 

 

Source The Doe
By Alan G, Activist / Progressive / Millennial

A scathing look at the animal cruelty inside a slaughterhouse, from an investigator, vegan and activist.

“I can’t save any of them.” That’s what I reminded myself, day after day, as I looked upon the faces of the animals who would soon be slaughtered. “Just do what you came here to do,” I would add, locking my eyes forward to concentrate on the task at hand. There’s no time to stop and be sentimental.

At a slaughterhouse, there’s always work to be done.

During the years I was an undercover investigator, I worked at three slaughterhouses in three different states—on behalf of a national farmed animal protection organization. While working, I used hidden camera equipment to document the painful reality of what animals endure on the last day of their lives.

I often asked myself how I ended up where I was. Like a lot of people in the vegan movement, I would call myself an animal lover. When I was young, I only had a few career goals. After seeing Jurassic Park, I wanted to grow up and study reptiles. Then, after consuming copious comic books, I wanted to be a hero. I combined these goals and eventually earned a master’s degree in ecology, with the goal of doing conservation research to protect wild animals. But, while I was in school, I learned about the suffering of farm animals through a labmate, the first vegan I ever knew in real life.

You probably guessed this already, but after a lengthy process, I became a vegan as well. Why wouldn’t I? Not only is meat production cruel, but it’s also notoriously bad for the environment, in terms of land use and emissions. So, it appealed to me as someone interested in conservation. In fact, I was so entranced with veganism and its benefits that I decided to keep my career options somewhat open. I wanted to either end up in field research or in activism. The non-profit I continue to work for today was the first to respond to my resume, which eventually brought me to those slaughterhouses.

I ended up working at chicken, pig and lamb slaughter facilities before I retired from fieldwork. I saw cruelty everywhere I went: some intentional and some as a result of companies trying to maximize speed (and, therefore, profits).

 

 

The Chicken Slaughterhouse: Animal Cruelty Bordering on Torture

My first job undercover was at the poultry plant, working live hang. Our one job was to pull chickens off a conveyor belt and wedge their legs in shackles passing by at eye-level. We were supposed to handle 24 chickens per minute, an impossible timeframe for anything even resembling “humane.” The birds would struggle; they would flap their wings or defecate out of fear, releasing feathers, blood and feces everywhere. The other workers seemed unconcerned with their plight. They would tear feathers off to throw at one another, or press the bodies of chickens against the metal conveyor belt in retaliation against their struggling. Sometimes, the workers at the head of the line would take a few steps back and hurl the birds at the shackles like they were baseballs. Often, the birds would successfully end up in the shackles after these pitches. It was easy to see that the workers had practiced this method.

 

The Pig Slaughterhouse: Inhumane Methods of Killing

My second position was at a slaughterhouse supplying a household name in pork products. I ended up working two different jobs there, one of which was on the kill floor. Part of the job was herding the animals through chutes and pens until they reached the stunner. Afraid and/or injured, sometimes they wouldn’t want to move—or simply couldn’t. And when the pigs weren’t moving, the workers started to become violent.

We had “rattle paddles” which look like oars with the flat end filled with noise-making beads. Workers would raise these paddles above their heads and bring them down on the heads or bodies of pigs. Several times, I was admonished by others for not doing this. “Hit them! Hit them!” they would yell at me. We also had access to electrical prods, which other workers would use on animals multiple times, sometimes in the face or near the genitals. The sick ones would be pulled by their tails or shoved out of the pens. We were supposed to use a sled to do that, but a supervisor told me they just didn’t have the time.

When the animals got past the chutes, a worker would use an electrical stunner on them. The hogs would go rigid and fall down a slide to a conveyor belt below. There, a worker would cut their throats. If the cut wasn’t done correctly, the animal wouldn’t bleed out enough to kill them before the stunning wore off, so I documented several pigs returning to sensibility and attempting to right themselves while they were hanging upside down, bleeding from the gaping hole in their throats. Workers were supposed to stop the line to re-stun the animal, but in one instance I witnessed, they didn’t bother, leaving the animal to suffer as the shackle took him slowly towards tanks of scalding water. I remember a choice quote from one worker: “If USDA were around, they could shut us down.”

The Lamb Slaughterhouse: Processing Contaminated Meat

My final investigation was at a slaughterhouse for one of the largest lamb producers in the U.S. I spent a few months working in a refrigerated room all day. The supervisor would tell workers to change the “best by” date labels on older products to falsify their freshness. He would help people avoid putting product through the metal detectors to save time, risking contamination of the meat with metal shavings. And when I finally got a position that would help me observe the slaughter process, we discovered that after having their throats cut open, 90 percent of the lambs would move in response to having their tails cut off later on the line, indicating they were potentially still sensible. What we saw was so egregious we decided to file a False Claims Act against the company, which resulted in a historic intervention from the Department of Justice, a settlement and mandated changes to their slaughtering practices.

Slaughterhouse Workers Suffer, Too

Slaughterhouse practices don’t just cause suffering for the animals. Meatpacking plants are notoriously dangerous for workers, with two amputations occurring in the U.S. per week. Most of my jobs were basically assembly line jobs, with workers performing the same action hundreds or thousands of times per day. Injuries are common, especially those caused by the repetitive motions on the line. I remember my hands aching every minute while I was employed in live hang, my knuckles red from holding the bony legs of thousands of chickens.

In another job, I wore a back brace on top of another because I spent all day carrying boxes filled with lamb meat. I cut myself on knives and metal hangers at the pig plant. More than once, I cried in my car before a shift, anticipating the mental and physical anguish I would endure for the next 12 hours. (And, now, during the coronavirus pandemic many Americans are painfully aware of how disease can spread like wildfire inside of these facilities.)

Though all of that is behind me now, it is still the reality for the billions of animals who are slaughtered every year. While I’m retired from undercover work, I’m still very much an activist for animals. As part of my job, I work with footage from other investigators and witness the same cruelty I saw firsthand. But it’s worth it, because I want people to see what I saw, as hard as it can be to watch. Despite the efforts of investigators like myself, there are still so many people who have no idea where their “food” comes from, and what horrible atrocities they’re paying into by buying animal products. My hope is that everyone who is even a little curious about what I went through can take the time to watch some of the footage brought back from these facilities. As someone who was on the inside, I hope the reality of the plight reaches you.

 

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We need an agricultural revolution

Vegans are often accused of destroying the rainforest with their soy consumption. But vegan products are mostly made from regional soy, the rainforest soy is mainly found in pet food.

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The soybean industry is booming. Global soybean production has more than doubled since 1997.
This is due to the growing demand for feed for the production of meat and dairy products.

This rapid expansion threatens some of the most biodiverse habitats on earth, including the Amazon rainforest, the Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco in South America, which drives the climate crisis and is at the expense of public health.

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In 2017, according to a Greenpeace report, 48% of soy was produced worldwide in Brazil and Argentina alone, with 95% genetically modified, resulting in high levels of herbicides and other dangerous chemicals.

After China, the EU is the second-largest soy importer in the world with around 33 million imported soy products, and 87.4% of the soy imported by the EU is used for animal feed.

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The production of animal products in the EU is today concentrated in a few countries.
For example, Germany, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom together produce 54% of cattle, 50% of pigs, and 54% of sheep and goats in the EU.

Continue reading “We need an agricultural revolution”

Scottish government defends ‘illegal’ live calf exports as court battle looms.

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WAV Comment

I (Mark) have personally been involved with live calf exports from the UK for around the past 30 years. You can see more about this at https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/about-us/

Like ALL live animal exports it is a disgusting trade which is operated by people who are even more disgusting. Ten years ago I produced a formal report on the calf trade from the UK to Europe, which you can review via the above link.

Here is the link to just one of the undercover investigations taken at that time; and which formed one part of the investigation report which was presented to the EU. As you can see; clear evidence that the ‘rules’ for ‘protecting’ the calves was being blatantly ignored; information which was presented to the EU, who; as always; did nothing about it.

Link – https://serbiananimalsvoice.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/jh-04-03-2010_report-on-non-compliance-with-resting-times-in-relation-to-controlpost-at-f-heauville.pdf

 

 

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Nothing much has changed ten years later; the EU disregards all the evidence presented to them, whilst drumming on about how good they are for ‘welfare’. Don’t believe it; they are useless and will do whatever they can to delay and postpone making changes that are beneficial to the animals. For the EU the facts are simple; it is financial gain well ahead of animal welfare; despite all the yukspeak that comes from their lips.

In the past I worked a lot with a great friend and CIWF employee – John; who very sadly died a few years ago. Here is a link associated with John – https://worldanimalsvoice.com/2019/04/25/england-another-terrible-loss-john-callaghan/

 

We battled at Dover to stop the calf exports for so long; wonderful people fighting at the right, compassionate end of the cause; I was glad to know them all and to be able to call them all true friends; and to be united in fighting the disgusting trade of animal abuse. More recently (as you can read in the article); the calf trade changed from Dover just round the coast to Ramsgate. It has been operated there by a Dutchman named ‘Onderwater’; who operates an ex Soviet battle tank carrier called the ‘Joline’ to get the animals across to the port of Calais in France; from where they continue their miserable journey South within Europe.

Here is a picture of the Joline – ex Soviet battle tank carrier now turned into a live animal transport ship !

 

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When we get news about the Scottish court case you will be the first to hear. I want this to be a welfare victory for so many reasons; I cannot even start to describe. I also want the victory for John; who fought for so long against this vile and disgusting business.

 

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By supporting the dairy industry – milk, cheese, cream etc; you are supporting this kind of animal abuse. Young male calves, of no use to the industry as milk machines; ripped from their mothers side at just a few hours old; crammed onto trucks and exported for hours and hours to die in a foreign land. It is a sick business, and the sooner you distance yourself from everything that is involved with t, the better. Baby cows should be with their mums – simple as that.

 

Regards Mark

 

 

 

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https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/scotland-live-exports-ban-calves-boris-johnson-brexit-a9564981.html

 

Scottish government defends ‘illegal’ live calf exports as court battle looms

 

The Scottish government is going to court to defend the practice of sending live baby calves to Europe, even though Boris Johnson has previously backed a ban on live exports after Brexit.

Experts say Scotland’s calf exports are illegal because journeys breach an eight-hour time limit, and they have launched a court battle to try to halt the exports.

It comes as the findings of an investigation suggest paperwork on last year’s shipments submitted to authorities was misleading. Opponents of the trade suspect it was an attempt to evade a potential future ban.

About 5,500 very young male calves discarded by dairy farmers each year are sent abroad, particularly to Spain and even north Africa, where they are fattened and slaughtered as beef or veal.

By law, journeys over eight hours are not permitted for unweaned calves unless, after nine hours of travel, they are given a one-hour break for rest, water and “if necessary”, food.

In practice, the animals – still dependent on their mothers’ milk – are not unloaded after the first nine hours, according to campaign group Compassion in World Farming (CiWF).

Instead they are transported from Scotland to northern France through the port of Ramsgate for up to 23 hours without food – in breach of the law on journey limits, it’s claimed.

 

CiWF has launched judicial review proceedings against the Scottish government, saying that if it wins, British live calf exports could not continue in their current form, which “could spare thousands of unweaned calves every year from suffering on exhausting journeys”.

But live exports form a large source of income for Scottish farmers, and Holyrood is fighting back, trying to get the case dropped.

The UK government’s Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is also thought to be planning to defend live exports if the case goes ahead.

 

The prime minister has previously condemned live exports, having pledged – before the Brexit vote – that leaving the EU would allow the UK to ban the trade, which European law did not permit.

 

In 2018, Mr Johnson condemned the trade as “barbaric”, writing in The Sun of the “nightmare” journeys animals endure: “They are terrified. They slip and slide in their own excrement as the boats buck in the swell. They travel for more than 100 hours in conditions of such extreme discomfort that campaigners have been protesting for decades.

“The animals know they are going to die – and they are going to die far from home.”

The Scottish parliament has previously debated banning exports of live A spokeswoman said: “It is most unlikely that breeding is the reason for more than 3,400 two- to six-week-old male calves being exported, given the numbers being exported per sailing, the conditions in which they are exported, and the age of the calves in question; these calves are clearly not of breeding age.

“We are worried that the decision to begin classifying these exports for ‘breeding’ may be an attempt to evade any potential future ‘fattening’ or ‘slaughter’ export ban.”

In a reply to CiWF, seen by The Independent, rural economy minister Fergus Ewing wrote: “I can assure you that there was no intention to mislead and that officials will sense-check any future data of this kind.”

He added: “Our knowledge of the trade permitted us to deduce that the likely purpose was fattening.

And the 2019 Conservative election manifesto promised to end “excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening”.

But CiWF has discovered that official logs on every sailing last year bar one listed the purpose of the export as “breeding” – so the shipments would be exempt from any ban.

 

A spokeswoman said: “It is most unlikely that breeding is the reason for more than 3,400 two- to six-week-old male calves being exported, given the numbers being exported per sailing, the conditions in which they are exported, and the age of the calves in question; these calves are clearly not of breeding age.

“We are worried that the decision to begin classifying these exports for ‘breeding’ may be an attempt to evade any potential future ‘fattening’ or ‘slaughter’ export ban.”

In a reply to CiWF, seen by The Independent, rural economy minister Fergus Ewing wrote: “I can assure you that there was no intention to mislead and that officials will sense-check any future data of this kind.”

He added: “Our knowledge of the trade permitted us to deduce that the likely purpose was fattening and production, although the possibility remains that certain of the transported calves may have been later used for breeding.”

The Independent has approached the Scottish government for a comment.

A spokesman for Defra said the government would be launching a public consultation in due course on “excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening” – which it pledged at the election to end.

The government held a call for evidence in 2018 on controlling live exports for slaughter and to improve animal welfare during transport after Brexit, but Defra says the new consultation will be wider in scope.

 

Thank You for Your Continuing Support.

 

Hi all;

 

Just a quick line to say thank you for your continued support and for your comments and likes of many of our posts. We get too many to return thanks individually; but rest assured; we do read everything that comes through.

If you ever want us to concentrate on something special; or do an article or two, then please just let us know through the usual channels.

Fingers crossed for our friends at Animals Australia that they will be successful in their court case over the next few days. We know from our fight against this trade in the EU / UK how difficult it can be. We wish them all good results for the animals.

 

Regards Mark and Venus.

https://clustrmaps.com/site/1a9kn 

 

Good to be global – a World Animals Voice !

 

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Photo – Uk sheep exported by Dutch haulier – Dober Harbour, SE England – by Val Cameron.

Australia: From RSPCA Australia. Live Sheep Exports. Act Now – Very Little Time.

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Mark we bring you sad and shocking news today.##

As you may have heard, the Government has backflipped under pressure from a live exporter and agreed to exempt them from rules that would’ve protected tens of thousands of Australian animals from a torturous journey into the Middle East at the most dangerous time of year.

 

Just one week ago, they made the right decision, upholding their own regulations in accordance with the overwhelming science and evidence.

But now, after promising to independently regulate this reckless industry based on the science and evidence, the government is apparently unable to stand up to the live exporter and uphold its own laws.

So they’ve given in. And in doing so, they’ve shown beyond doubt that they cannot uphold these important animal protection regulations in the face of industry pressure.

Australians – including farmers – know there are rules they must follow when it comes to caring for their animals.

If they don’t follow the rules, there are consequences.

So why don’t the same rules apply to live exporters?

And why does our government keep giving in to them?

Live exporters are playing by their own rules and making a mockery of our regulations, and the Australian Government is letting it happen.

This exemption is an absurd decision by the regulator, and how it has come about needs to be heavily scrutinised.

Three out of every four Australians want live exports to end. But everyone agrees the industry should be well managed and regulated.

That’s not happening.

Time and again, live exporters like RETWA / KLTT bring negative attention and damage the international reputation of Australian agriculture by flagrantly risking the welfare of our animals.

This cannot be allowed to continue.

They don’t respect our rules. And if the Australian Government and the regulator can’t stop this from happening, live export cannot continue.

 

The clock is ticking.

First, this shock exemption has been with no notice and no consultation. That’s just not good enough.

We’re asking the Minister to uphold the law and stop this shipment.

Second, we’re insisting there must be an independent observer on board at the very least – as is current government policy – so the live export industry cannot hide the truth.

 

TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY

 

https://www.rspca.org.au/take-action/live-sheep-export?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=27921-57306-2020-06-15+eBlast+-+Subject+B+-+Government+gives+in+to+live+exporter%2C+backflips+on+own+regulations+…

 

https://www.rspca.org.au/take-action/live-sheep-export?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=27921-57306-2020-06-15+eBlast+-+Subject+B+-+Government+gives+in+to+live+exporter%2C+backflips+on+own+regulations+…

 

 

 

There is nothing sweet about honey!

Although there were 3,500 native bee species of bees pollinating the flowers and food crops of North America when European settlers landed on its shores in the 17th century, the colonists were interested only in their Old World honeybees’ wax and honey.

bienen und HonigBees heads are CRUSHED so workers can steal their semen and use it to forcibly impregnate queen bees.

 

They imported the insects, and by the mid-1800s, both feral and domesticated colonies of honeybees were scattered all over the United States. As a result of disease, pesticides, and climate changes, the honeybee population has been nearly decimated, but since the demand for the bees’ honey and other products remains high, these tiny animals are raised by industries, much like chickens, pigs, and cows are.

The Complex Lives of Bees

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A honeybee hive consists of tens of thousands of bees, each with his or her own mission that is determined by the bee’s sex and age as well as by the time of year. Each hive usually has one queen, hundreds of drones, and thousands of workers. Queens can live for as long as five years, while other bees have life spans ranging from a few weeks to six months.

Worker bees are responsible for feeding the brood, caring for the queen, building comb, foraging for nectar and pollen, and cleaning, ventilating, and guarding the hive. The drones serve the queen, who is responsible for reproduction.

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She lays about 250,000 eggs each year—and as many as 1 million over the course of her lifetime.

When a new queen is about to be born, the old queen and half the hive leave their old home and set up in a new place that scouting worker bees have found.

As the temperature drops in the winter, the bees cluster around the queen and the young, using their body heat to keep the temperature inside the hive steady at around 93 degrees F.

A language all their own

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Bees have a unique and complex form of communication-based on sight, motion, and scent that scientists and scholars are working to understand. Bees alert other members of their hive to food, new hive locations, and conditions within their hive (such as nectar supply) through intricate “dance” movements.

Studies have shown that bees are capable of abstract thinking as well as distinguishing their family members from other bees in the hive, using visual cues to map their travels, and finding a previously used food supply, even when their home has been moved.

And similar to the way that smells can invoke powerful memories in for humans, they can also trigger memories in bees, such as memories of where the best food can be found.

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Why Bees Need to Keep Their Honey
Plants produce nectar to attract pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats, and other mammals), who are necessary for successful plant reproduction.

Bees collect and use nectar to make honey, which provides vital nourishment for them, especially during the winter. Since nectar contains a lot of water, bees have to work to dry it out, and they add enzymes from their own bodies to convert it into food and prevent it from going bad.

A single worker bee may visit up to 10,000 flowers in one day and, in her lifetime, produce only a teaspoonful of honey.

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Honeybees do not pollinate as well as native bees
Approximately one out of every four mouthfuls of food or drink that humans consume is made possible by pollinators—insects, birds, and mammals pollinate about 75 percent of all food crops.

Industrial beekeepers want consumers to believe that honey is just a byproduct of the necessary pollination provided by honeybees, but honeybees are not as good at pollinating as many truly wild bees, such as bumblebees and carpenter and digger bees.

Native bees are active earlier in the spring, both males and females pollinate, and they are not affected by stressors such as colony collapse disorder. But because most species of native bees hibernate for as many as 11 months out of the year and do not live in large colonies, they do not produce massive amounts of honey, and the little that they do produce is not worth the effort required to steal it from them.

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So although native bees are more effective pollinators, farmers continue to rely on honeybees for pollination so that the honey industry can take in more than 152 million pounds of honey every year, at a value of more than $333 million.

Manipulating Nature
Profiting from honey requires the manipulation and exploitation of the insects’ desire to live and protect their hive. Like other factory-farmed animals, honeybees are victims of unnatural living conditions, genetic manipulation, and stressful transportation.

The familiar white box that serves as a beehive has been around since the mid-1850s and was created so that beekeepers could move the hives from place to place. The New York Times reported that bees have been “moved from shapes that accommodated their own geometry to flat-topped tenements, sentenced to life in file cabinets.”

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Since “swarming” (the division of the hive upon the birth of a new queen) can cause a decline in honey production, beekeepers do what they can to prevent it, including clipping the wings of a queen. Queens are artificially inseminated using drones, who are killed in the process.

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Commercial beekeepers also “trick” queens into laying more eggs by adding wax cells to the hive that are larger than those that worker bees would normally build.
Avoid honey, beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, and other products that come from bees. Vegan lip balms and candles are readily available.

Visit CaringConsumer.com for a list of companies that don’t use animal products.

Agave nectar, rice syrup, molasses, sorghum, barley malt, maple syrup, and dried fruit or fruit concentrates can be used to replace honey in recipes.

https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/animals-used-food-factsheets/honey-factory-farmed-bees

 

And I mean…As a food, honey can easily be identified on supermarket shelves.
But many cosmetic companies- that claim to be vegan- use beeswax for their products, which we often overlook or fail to declare.

So be careful when buying cosmetics too.

The same applies to palm oil, which is used massively in food, but also in cosmetic products, and it is therefore very difficult to find some companies that do not use it.

Nowadays you have to train your eyes very well.

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My best regards to all, Venus

Australia: Breaking 15/6/20 – Animals Australia Now Going To Court to Stop Sheep Shipment.

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Photo is from archive and is not associated with this article.

 

Hi Mark,

This is just a quick note as I know that over the past 48 hours your mind, like ours, will have been with the 50,000 Australian sheep who inconceivably are now scheduled to be shipped to Kuwait this week.

Like me, you may ask yourself, ‘How can this be? Surely there is something fundamentally wrong here?’ And yes, you would be right, there is.

We were not going to allow this shipment to proceed without doing everything in our power to prevent it.

Yesterday afternoon, after working day and night, our legal team filed an urgent application in the Federal Court seeking to challenge the Department of Agriculture’s decision to grant the exemption. Our case will be based on the fact that the decisionmaker was obliged to afford Animals Australia an opportunity to be heard in relation to this application. We are seeking an urgent trial on this matter as the window to overturn this decision is so limited.

There is much to play out in coming hours and days. No doubt the Department and exporter will rigorously defend this decision, but be reassured that our brilliant legal team will be in the Federal Court this morning doing all things humanly possible on behalf of these sheep, and us — the community who care so deeply about them.

Mark, know that we are only able to take this swift action to defend these animals because of you. Thank you so much for supporting these critical efforts as always.

I will keep you updated on developments.

For the animals (and especially for each one of these sheep),

Lyn White AM
Director of Strategy