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Here's what you need to know about live export right now

Here's what you need to know about live export right now

Posted 8 October 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: live export, sheep, Eid

As I write this, our brave live export investigators are returning from the field after documenting one of the darkest times of the year for animals -- the Festival of Sacrifice, or Eid. Tragically, millions of animals are sacrificed during these celebrations across the Middle East and Asia. Hundreds of thousands of animals exported from Australia are among them.

What is the Eid?

The Festival of Sacrifice is a religious holiday honouring the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of devotion to Allah. Seeing Ibrahim's commitment, Allah gave him a lamb to sacrifice in place of his son. So during the Eid, many Muslims today sacrifice an animal and share the meat amongst family, friends and the poor.

But just like many people here don't support the way animals are treated in our own country, many locals in the Middle East are opposed to the cruelty that goes on during the Eid. In fact, some of our investigators are local Muslims who share our goal of a kinder world for animals. And some Islamic leaders have also spoken out, saying that the way animals are being treated does not fit with Islamic teachings.

Why does cruelty occur?

Just as Christmas is a peak time for animal suffering in Australia -- with millions of pigs, turkeys and chickens killed for the Christmas table -- the Festival of Sacrifice is the worst time for animals in the Middle East.

Sadly, whenever animals are slaughtered on masse, cruelty and suffering is bound to occur. For Australian animals who are exported for the Eid this is made even worse -- since most of these stressed out animals aren't used to regular human contact, and the people killing them often have little experience slaughtering animals, and even less experience handling Australian animals. What's it like?

Animals Australia investigators have documented sheep being tied up, shoved into car boots and loaded on to the back of utes. Stressed bulls are tripped with ropes and then have their legs tied together, so that they are helpless to protect themselves. Most of these unfortunate animals then suffer a terrifying death -- their throats cut while fully conscious by men with little or no slaughter experience or by overworked abattoir workers.

The city streets literally run red with the blood of slaughtered animals as they're killed outside houses and on the street itself.

Understandably this is not just a hard time for animals ... it can be extremely confronting for a lot of people too. Alaa Sharshar, the owner of Vegan Kitchen -- Egypt's first vegan restaurant -- told The Guardian that ever since he was a boy he has had to get out of Cairo on the day of the sacrifice.

Alaa Sharshar -- Vegan Kitchen. Photo: Patrick Kingsley for the Guardian

And I can imagine that I would definitely have to do the same after watching this short video of the streets of the Gaza Strip on the first day of Eid. This video gives you a small glimpse of what it would be like to be out on the street during this Festival. But please BE WARNED that you might find it distressing to watch. There's no actual slaughter filmed but there are body parts of animals shown and lots of blood :(

What does it have to do with us?

Australia is the largest live exporter in the world and every year during the Eid hundreds of thousands of Australian animals -- mostly sheep and cattle -- are exported to the Middle East and Asia for sacrifice. Live exporters have seen the shocking cruelty that awaits animals at the other end, but they load them onto ships and send them anyway.

[Ask your MP today to put a stop to this cruel trade.]

What are we doing about it?

While live exports continue Animals Australia will be there documenting and exposing cruelty that occurs, and campaigning for a ban. In the last 2 years, we've made 31 reports of illegal activity in the live export trade and campaigned alongside countless caring people like you to bring an end to live exports for good.


What can I do?

This trade needs to end. We've seen time and time again that politicians can't promise that rules won't be broken and that animals won't be mistreated. You can help by writing to your MP about the cruelty of the live export trade and asking them to support a ban. Click here to send your political representative a message today.

However, there is another problem here and that is that whenever there is a mass demand for animals to be killed for 'food' -- cruelty occurs. While it may not be happening right in front of us in the streets, animals here in Australia are often roughly handled as they are led to slaughter and if you've ever watched footage from inside an abattoir you'll know the terror animals can experience as they're taken to be killed.

A recent investigation by Aussie Farms into a NSW pig slaughterhouse shows that pigs scream and thrash about in terror as they are lowered into gas chambers -- a process which is described as the most 'humane' slaughter method. Click here to judge for yourself.

The demand for meat in Australia is so high that over a million animals are killed every single day. Every single day! And, like the Eid, many of the holidays we celebrate here centre around a feast and animals can suffer as a result. For example, the number of turkeys killed for meat goes up dramatically in the lead up to Christmas :(

But it doesn't have to be this way. More and more people are making sure no animals are harmed for their food, and reducing the demand for meat, by simply taking animals off their plate. You can make that choice starting today.


There's heaps of meat-free recipes for you to try out right here. And if you need any tips for a cruelty-free Christmas, I can solidly recommend the festive roast from Suzy Spoons Vegetarian Butcher. Check out the Chrissy feast I had last year:


Zomg it was so good. Feel free to tell me how totes jel you are below :)

« Veg game strong amongst young adults. Cos yolo.     Laws couldn't stop this ... so it's up to you! »

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. . . . 15 November 2014
Keep fighting to stop live export because together we will stop it!
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