Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has sent an urgent letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard asking her to put a stop to cruel live exports after tens of thousands of sick sheep shipped from Australia to slaughter in the Middle East were left stranded aboard their vessels, struggling to survive in sweltering weather after being turned away by officials in Bahrain and Kuwait. One ship remained in the waters off Bahrain for more than a month before reportedly unloading the animals in Pakistan for sale to an unidentified buyer.
© Compassion in World Farming From the moment their journey begins, sheep are kept in miserable conditions.
Live Export Means Dead Sheep
Many people and companies have joined PETA's boycott of Aussie wool after learning about the cruelty of mulesing, a procedure in which young lambs have huge chunks of skin and flesh cut from their backsides, often without being given any painkillers. But there's another important reason to shed wool: Every year, around 3 million discarded sheep are packed onto ships to face their deaths in North Africa or the Middle East so that the wool industry can make even more money off the animals.
Many of the sheep starve to death, are trampled, or become ill and die en route to their final destinations. The grueling journey can last several weeks through all weather extremes, with sheep confined amid their own waste on ships that hold up to 100,000 animals. Conditions are hot and cramped—the perfect environment to spread diseases, such as the outbreaks of scabby mouth that caused these two ships to be turned away.
© Compassion in World FarmingThe sheep are crammed together so tightly, many are unable to reach food and water troughs.
Sheep who survive the journey are subjected to handling and slaughter methods upon their arrival that would be illegal back in Australia. The animals are kicked, beaten, prodded, and dragged off trucks and into slaughterhouses by their ears and legs, and some are left to die in barren feedlots in scorching-hot temperatures. Sheep have their legs tightly bound and are thrown into the trunks of cars, have their throats slit while they are still conscious, and are left to bleed to death in prolonged and agonizing ways.
What You Can Do
These are not the first cases in which sheep have been nightmarishly stranded—and unless live exports end, they won't be the last. Wool sales support this heartless and bloody industry, so save a sheep—don't buy wool products. Urge Australian Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig to end the live export of animals.
Written by PETA
Update: After the Australian RSPCA was at last permitted to board the disabled ship, they discovered that at least 200 sheep had already died. The surviving sheep are being unloaded and sent to a feedlot, a process that is expected to take several days. Australia's agriculture minister acknowledged that hundreds of sheep had died but shrugged off the deaths as being "expected."
The following was first published on August 16th.
For the past week, 67,000 sheep have struggled to survive inside a crowded, filthy multitier ship in Australia. We're betting that not all of them have made it. The sheep―either discarded by the wool industry or bred for meat―were bound for slaughter in the Middle East, a grueling journey, but when the ship experienced mechanical problems, the captain turned the ship around and returned to Australia.
Now the ship is sitting at the dock, and the sheep have been left on board to suffer in cramped quarters, mired in their own waste. Eventually, one supposes, it will be back out to sea again for these unfortunate animals.
The voyage from Australia to the Middle East can take weeks, during which time many sheep commonly starve to death, are trampled, or become ill and die, their bodies tossed overboard. Upon arrival, the survivors are dragged from the ship, thrown into the backs of trucks, and driven to slaughter, where they have their throats cut while fully conscious.
Please urge Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to put a stop to the immense suffering endured by millions of sheep and other animals every year by banning live export.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
By now, you've no doubt heard about the string of shark attacks on tourists off the Egyptian coast at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort, including one attack that killed a German woman. But do you know why the sharks suddenly started biting? Some officials believe the sharks were drawn to the area by a livestock ship that was allegedly dumping the carcasses of sheep into the Red Sea.
The Middle East is a frequent destination for ships from Australia carrying sheep who have been cast off by the wool industry or who were raised for lamb chops. (During last month's Eid al-Adha festival alone, Australia exported 800,000 sheep to the Middle East.) That's tens of thousands of sheep who are crammed onto huge, open-deck ships, packed together so tightly that many are often unable to reach food and water troughs. Hundreds may die during the grueling, weeks-long voyage.
A new investigation by Animals Australia documents the horrific fate of the survivors. Investigators filmed conscious animals who were thrown to the ground, trussed by all four legs, and slaughtered by having their throats cut open with dull knives.
More videos from Animals Australia
Animals Australia presented its findings to Australia's new agriculture minister, Joe Ludwig, who, one can only hope, will be more receptive than previous deaf, dumb, and blind administrations. Please write to Senator Ludwig and urge him to ban the export of live animals.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott holds a lot of sway when it comes to Australia's sheep. The proof? He inspired PETA Australia's Lucy the Sheep, who is following him all over the place these days, to wear a red Speedo similar to his (in)famous "budgie smuggler." (Warning: The link is possibly NSFW.)
Maybe next he'll inspire the rest of Australia's parliament to end mulesing and live-sheep exports.
Yes, you've read that correctly, and no, the headline wasn't ripped from The Onion. In a joint press conference this morning, the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union and the World Society for the Protection of Animals agreed that the live export of sheep who were once abused for their wool is destroying the nation's economy.
Every year on the grueling journey from Australia to their slaughter in the Middle East, millions of sheep endure weeks, and sometimes months, on extremely crowded, disease-ridden ships with little access to food or water and through all weather extremes. Many sheep fall ill, become stuck in feces and are unable to move, or are trampled to death by other sheep. Those who survive are dragged from the ships, are thrown into the backs of trucks and cars, and eventually have their throats cut while they are still conscious.
Hopefully, this surprise support from Australia's meat industry will mean less suffering for sheep. And who knows, maybe the next shocking headline we'll see will read, "Australian Meat Workers Oppose Meat" (considering the energy, land, and resources wasted by the production of meat—a guy can dream, can't he?).
Written by Logan Scherer
At 5' 4", I'm often the shortest person in a room, so I've frequently resorted to the maxim "good things come in small packages," but I'll admit it: Even I'm loving all 828 meters of the Burj Khalifa—which just opened in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and is breaking all sorts of world records—the highest occupied floor, the tallest service lift, and the world's highest observation deck—and, if Emaar Properties agrees to PETA's proposal it could break one more: world's longest banner.
None of the Burj Khalifa statistics are as astounding as the number of sheep who die every year on the traumatizing and grueling journey from Australia to their slaughter in the Middle East after they are deemed unprofitable to wool farmers. The cramped, suffocating conditions on live-export ships make the recent TSA regulations look like travel perks. In one year alone, 35,000 sheep die from starvation or disease or are trampled to death by other sheep. Those who survive the trip are dragged off the ships, thrown into the backs of trucks and cars, and eventually have their throats cut while they are still conscious. At least we survive the body scans.
What's brilliant, saves lives, and red all over? A fire truck wrapped in one of these ads:
When we heard that KFC was defacing covering fire hydrants throughout Indianapolis with ads for its "fiery" wings, we immediately offered to help the city's fire departments, which are struggling from economic woes, by applying to advertise our Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign on their fire trucks. We want citizens of Indianapolis to know that the only thing "fiery" about KFC is the scalding-hot water that millions of chickens are dropped into—often while they're still conscious.
We're still waiting to hear back from the city—but in other news, we're told that for the first time ever, dogs throughout Indianapolis are terrified of fire hydrants.
News flash! New Zealand has just banned the live export of animals from the country. This announcement comes only a few months after New Zealand farmers announced that they were ending the archaic practice of mulesing, which is a procedure where large chunks of flesh are cut from sheep’s hind quarters with no painkillers to prevent flies from laying eggs in their wrinkly skin. Kudos to New Zealand for taking the lead on both of these issues and setting the wool industry animal welfare bar a little bit higher.
Now it’s time for the Australian wool industry to pull its head out of the sand and get with the program. If New Zealand can make these two important changes in its entire wool industry in a matter of months, certainly Australia can follow suit. You can help make that happen by clicking here.
If you’re new to the blog or to this issue, there is a great overview of both mulesing and live export here.
As if anyone needs another reason to not buy Australian wool, a damning new report about live export was just released. The report found, among other things, that on one recent voyage from Tasmania to the Middle East, many of the sheep loaded didn’t even meet the extremely low minimum export standards, that many sheep developed the condition “pink eye” during the voyage, and that about 1,600 out of the 75,000 sheep aboard died on the four week voyage.
The worst part is that the sheep who died en route may have been the lucky ones, as in the Muslim nations of North Africa and the Middle East, ritual slaughter is exempt from humane slaughter regulations. Some sheep are slaughtered en masse in lots, while others are taken home, often in the trunks of cars, and slaughtered individually by the purchasers.
If you need a little background info on the whole live export thing, click here. And please, if you haven’t done so already, join actor Joaquin Phoenix in pressuring Oz Ag Minister Peter McGauran to put an end to this horrible abuse.
It’s no secret that Karl Rove is no friend of animals. And given the current state of affairs, I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Dubya’s bag man plans to spend the days immediately following his resignation literally blowing the international symbol of peace into oblivion. That is, he’s going dove hunting.
As you might imagine, PETA Prez Ingrid Newkirk had a few things to say about that, including some friendly advice that next time Mr. Rove takes a hunting trip, he should invite Dick Cheney along with him.
And reportedly, after his Labor Day killing spree, err, hunting trip, Rove is going back to Washington to fetch his wife and dogs before driving to their home in Florida. I just hope he hasn’t gotten any advice about traveling with dogs from Mitt Romney . . .
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.