Media Release: 19 October 2018
Another live export license approved leaves livestock welfare in doubt
Unbelievable! Today, the Australian Department of Agriculture has approved an export license to Rural Export & Trading WA (RETWA), which will see 130,000 sheep sourced from Western Australian producers and prepared for export from Fremantle to Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.
Already two livestock vessels, the Al Shuwaikh and the Al Messilah, are anchored near Perth and are awaiting livestock to be boarded.
RETWA is an Australian subsidiary of Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading (KLTT).In April this year, KLTT was exposed by 60 Minutes with shocking video footage of distressed, dying animals on board the Awassi Express. In fact, it was recorded that 2,400 sheep died on the Awassi Express due to extreme heat and poor conditions — almost twice the acceptable mortality rate.
And it only gets worse.
RETWA had its export license cancelled back in 2004 due to being found guilty of 25 high mortality voyages within a two-year period. During this time, Emanuel Exports’ sent livestock to KLTT instead and become Australia’s largest live sheep exporter. Only two months ago, Emanuel Exports had their license cancelled due to the Awassi Express scandal.
With such a horrific record, the Animal Welfare League NSW question the Department of Agriculture on how this grant could have possibly been approved when conditions for livestock are still not meeting regulatory obligations.
Time and time again we are seeing our Australian livestock suffer in cruel and deadly conditions on voyages to the Middle East. How can the industry think this is okay?
Disappointed with the news, Animal Welfare League CEO Mark Slater was shocked that in 2018, we’re still seeing this type of appalling behaviour by exporters. “In the strongest possible terms AWL NSW are opposed to the inhumane treatment of these animals, not the economic outcome for our farmers – it is imperative that in 2018 where we can contact anyone in the world in real time with a device most Australians carry in their pocket, we start to think about how we progress our agricultural practices that satisfy both the economic needs of our farming and greater population but are also considerate of the needs of animal welfare. It is an imperative that both economic and animal welfare considerations are inextricably linked.”
If you agree that it’s time to see an end to live export, please write to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources—the Hon. David Littleproud MP. Enough is enough.