A lone sheep is shoved up a ramp, into a slaughterhouse. He stops, eyes frozen on the scene in front of him. Another sheep — one of his pen mates — is struggling against a blade as his throat is cut. Still fully aware, he's thrown headfirst onto the blood-soaked floor, where other sheep lay, slowly losing consciousness.
Witnessing this, the frightened sheep turns to leave. He doesn't want to be here. And in this most vulnerable moment of his grueling live export journey, he is failed one final time by the industry — he's dragged back inside to meet the same fate as those who went before him.
These gut-wrenching scenes were captured by Animals Australia investigators during the recent Festival of Sacrifice — a lucrative time for Australia's live export industry. It's also a peak time of animal suffering, with exporters supplying hundreds of thousands of animals for sale and slaughter across the Middle East and North Africa.
But what's most disturbing about the treatment of animals inside this facility is that it's largely 'business as usual'.
While a few breaches of Australian regulations are clear, the fully conscious slaughter that causes the most suffering to the animals, is allowed under Australia's live export rules.
The distressing footage from inside this Australian government approved slaughterhouse wasn't the only evidence of animal cruelty documented by our investigators. In 40+ degree heat, frightened Australian sheep were being manhandled and shoved into car boots and being sold for private slaughter — in blatant breach of Australia's live export regulations.
It's been ten years since regulations were introduced to ban some of the worst cruelty of live export. Every year since, Animals Australia has documented exporters breaking these rules.
Despite thousands of animals suffering as a result, not one live export company has had their license suspended. In fact, the exporter at the center of these latest allegations — Livestock Shipping Services — is a repeat offender.
The Morrison Government's unconditional support for the live export industry makes a future Labor government the best chance we currently have of ending this trade.
When we exposed shocking footage of the routine conditions on board live export ships in 2018, Federal Labor committed to at least end the live export of sheep from Australia. With a Federal election to happen in 2022, it's time to remind them of — and hold them to — that commitment.
TAKE ACTION by urging Labor to reaffirm their promise to end live sheep export.