The Festival of Sacrifice in the Middle East marks one of the darkest times on the animal welfare calendar. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of exported Australian animals are amongst the millions of animals who are sacrificed during religious celebrations at the end of the Hajj.
In the same way that Christmas has become the peak time of animal suffering in the West with vast numbers of factory farmed animals slaughtered for Christmas celebrations, the Festival of Sacrifice is the worst time of animal suffering throughout the Middle East.
Islamic teachings speak to the importance of humane treatment of animals, but the sheer numbers of animals bought and sacrificed inevitably leads to cruelty on a massive scale as the welfare of individual animals is forgotten.
In 2010, Animals Australia investigators on location in the Middle East again documented sheep being routinely bound, shoved into car boots or loaded onto the back of utes, before suffering a terrifying death on the morning of the Eid; their throats are cut whilst fully conscious, often by inexperienced slaughtermen in private premises or by exhausted abattoir workers who are working at ten times their normal capacity.
Past evidence obtained by Animals Australia investigators of the brutal treatment of Australian sheep in Egypt during this festival had forced the Federal government to ban the live sheep trade to Egypt in 2008. Despite similar graphic evidence being documented in other Middle Eastern countries, the Federal government continues to allow animals to be exported to the region.
Australian animals now have a new Prime Minister and a new Agriculture Minister in charge of their welfare. Please call on Julia Gillard and Joe Ludwig to end the cruel live trade.
Update: On Monday 30th May 2011 at 8:30PM, ABC1's Four Corners will air the first truly independent footage of exported Australian cattle filmed by Animals Australia investigators in Indonesia. Please join us at BanLiveExport.com after the show to learn about Bill's story and help us stop live animal export.