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The case against live animal exports

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Animals Australia has posted photos of Australian sheep in Kuwait showing animals chained up and being slaughtered in the street. Animals Australia claim this is one more reason why live exports should be stopped.

This is the Eid al Adha festival, sometimes called the festival of sacrifice, when Australia exports thousands of animals to the middle east, Indonesia and north Africa.

Images of Australian sheep being jammed into car boots and having their throats cut have been captured by animal welfare activists who hope to bring an end to live exports to the Middle East.

Animals Australia members travelled to Kuwait and Bahrain for the Eid al Adha festival, for which Australia this year supplied 800,000 sheep worth $92 million.

At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2010, Eid al-Adha will begin on November 16th, and will last for three days.

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled.

According to the vast majority of scholars and imams, offering a sacrificial animal on `Eid Al-Adha by non-pilgrims is not considered as obligatory but only sunnah mu’akkadah (highly recommended act). Then why turn a religious custom of trial and resolution into one of suffering, projected onto another species?

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) say they are raising the standard of animal welfare throughout the region.

It’s been estimated that close to 800,000 sheep have been sent to the region for Eid al Adha. An influx of such high numbers unfortunately leading to exacerbated cruelty. Many will be killed without pre-stunning and it’s likely many will be transported for private slaughter in car boots. How can "animal welfare" standards be managed with home-slaughters in a country with no animal welfare laws?

Malaysia is especially sensitive to the disease hendra virus threat because of outbreaks of a similar bat-borne virus to Hendra, Nipah virus, which infects pigs and through them people. Fortunately, it means that they will not continue with the live export trade of animals from Australia. (The Australian newspaper reports).

The virus has spread from bats to horses and a dog so far.

This has been kept quiet so far. It has not been announced by either the Australian or Malaysian governments.

More than 80 per cent of Australia's live goat market is transported to Malaysia, which is worth $15m annually.

With the live export focus on sheep to the Middle East, it was assumed that the shorter voyages made by cattle to Indonesia, and close ties due to this country being on our door-step, meant a well-organised trade. However, the atrocities were kept secret from the media and public.

Two separate bids to end live animal exports failed to win the support of a single Government or Opposition MP. The rant of "jobs and income" has a much higher priority in our business-run democracy than the welfare of exported animals, or morality.

Now there is horrendous films showing evidence of torture of Australian cattle in Turkey. Lyn White of Animals Australia said the footage showed conscious cattle strung up by one hind leg before their throats were cut.

Although the cruelty shown in Indonesian abattoirs was condemned by the Halal Authority in Australia as being un-Islamic, there is little control and no laws in many countries on how animals are be be slaughtered - butchered to death!

Negotiations are now underway to resume trade.