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Australia to investigate live animal exports to Middle East after horrific video goes viral

For 60 years, cruelty to animals on live export ships has been kept secret

April 10, 2018 at 11:04 am

Australia is “cracking down” on illegal practices after a video surfaced last week showing at least 2,400 sheep dying in horrific conditions during a voyage to the Middle East. Their carcases were thrown into the sea.

The video was supplied by animal rights group Animals Australia and broadcast by Channel 9. The sheep are shown suffering and dying from heat stress in overcrowded pens without adequate access to food, water or medical attention. Animals Australia said that the film was made during more than five trips to Qatar, Kuwait and Oman last year on board ships belonging to Emmanuel Exports.

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“The sheep died right in front of us,” explained Faisal Abdullah Al-Khuraij, the whistle-blower who shot the video. Lambs born to pregnant sheep, which are not supposed to be exported, died on board the ship and were thrown into the sea.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said that his officials will investigate the incident, but he ruled out imposing a ban on the export of livestock. He added that other measures will be taken to guarantee that the animals are treated properly during such voyages.

Emmanuel Exports said that it has introduced new measures to improve the animals’ welfare, including reducing the number of sheep in the pens and having a government observer on board.