MEDIA RELEASE - 12 April 2018
Secret live sheep exports continue - Minister’s promise to “protect animals’ worthless?
The Greens have called on Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to withdraw approval for the MV Maysora to export sheep loaded late last night. This quick action is needed to ensure the livestock do not suffer and die under cruel on-board conditions.
"Minister Littleproud’s credibility is on the line following reports that live sheep exports have resumed just days after the shocking footage of sheep deaths and cruelty on board the Awassi Express was aired,” Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“The current Minister will end up looking like a replica of the previous minister Barnaby Joyce if he does not have the courage to say NO to the live export industry.
“It is unacceptable for the live sheep trade to continue now Australians have seen the levels of cruelty that resulted in what must have been excruciating on-board deaths for 2800 sheep.
“If the MV Maysora is allowed to sail the sheep will have little relief from the stifling heat that for much of the time will be in the mid-30s, conditions not dissimilar to what caused the mass deaths on the Awassi Express.
“Just a few days ago the Minister said how shocked he was by the Awassi deaths and promised to conduct a review of the trade. He also said that the Agriculture Department will enforce strict conditions on the exporter.
“But the Agriculture Department is part of the problem as they have failed to enforce existing conditions that are supposed to prevent cruelty.
“It is just not possible for these promises to have been honoured before the loading of sheep on the MV Maysora commenced.
“Surely the Minister knows that MV Maysora is known as another animal export death ship as it also has a shocking record involving on board sheep deaths and poor animal welfare standards.
“Complaints have been registered about the use of electric prods, disease outbreaks and the ship owner authorities refusing to allow animal welfare authorities to inspect on-board conditions.