The forgotten animals of live export

Animals Australia Live export ship

Australian dairy cattle have been found perishing on a property in Qatar. They are among thousands of dairy and breeding animals shipped all over the world and totally overlooked by new live export rules.

A tragedy unfolding...

Despite intense public scrutiny of the cruel live export trade, tens of thousands of breeding animals are slipping through a veritable live export 'loophole'. As seen on ABC's 730 program, the consequences are horrifying...

When these Australian dairy cows were sent to Qatar, they were heavily pregnant. Though the risks they face were no less than other exported animals, they were not part of any Government-sanctioned 'supply chain'. In fact, when breeding animals leave Australia, no-one knows exactly where they will end up, or what suffering might await them.

Due to the brave efforts of two Australian whilstleblowers, shocking images reveal the extent of cruelty and neglect that these animals have been forced to endure. Within a one week period, one in every four animals died of thirst or malnutrition. Mother cows, unable to nourish their calves, helplessly watched on as their babies perished in the squalid conditions.

Alarmingly, these aren't the first animals to suffer harrowing deaths on this property. Of 10,000 Australian 'breeding sheep' who arrived in February, only 3,000 remain alive. Many of the lambs born to these undernourished animals also perished.

The images are tragic, in every respect. But even more tragic, is that soon, hundreds more Australian dairy cattle will be sent to this same property in Qatar — unless we stop it.

Calf Urgent action needed!
Investigation photos Investigation photos
Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar Australian dairy cattle and calves suffering in Qatar RSPCA Australia Next photo Previous photo

Warning signs ignored

Animals Australia has previously called on the Australian government to urgently bring breeding and dairy animals into the live export regulatory framework, so that at the very least, their destination could be known and assessed.

Graphic vision was provided to demonstrate the risks imported breeding animals face in importing countries. In this video, an imported dairy cow (of unknown origin) is slaughtered in Turkey. Her unborn calf is cut out of her stomach and into a pool of blood on the kill floor. He gasps for air and calls out helplessly before he too has his throat slit. Australia continues to export dairy cows to Turkey and other countries including China and Indonesia, where there are no guarantees they will not also spend their final moments in places like this one.

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Take action now

Every month that passes, more 'breeding' animals and dairy cattle are leaving Australian shores for countries where there are no laws to protect them from cruelty. Their final destinations; whether they will be abused or neglected; and in what circumstances they will die; is unknown. What can be exposed by whistleblowers will only be the tip of the iceberg.

The new regulatory system for animals exported for slaughter might have major shortcomings such as failing to prevent fully conscious slaughter. However at the very least it is supposed to prevent animals from being sent to deplorable conditions such as that exposed in Qatar.

Ethically live export needs to end. But while it continues, there can be no justification for completely abandoning certain animals to the risk of abject cruelty on the arbitrary basis that they will give birth in their destination.

Animals Australia has been informed that a buyer from this Qatari facility is currently in Australia sourcing more animals. With no current legislation precluding the export of these animals to Qatar, it is imperative that the Minister uses his discretion to refuse further exports to this facility.

Please call on the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs to help stop the next shipment of animals from being sent to the same property exposed for extreme cruelty in Qatar, and demand that they urgently bring breeding animals and dairy cattle under the new live export regulations.
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