Breaking! 1st Hearing Of Animals Australia’s Unprecedented Legal Challenge Of Live Sheep Export Took Place Today

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Animals Australia appeared today in the first hearing of its landmark application in the Federal Court of Australia to challenge the legality of a live sheep export permit.

The challenge relates to an Emanuel Exports shipment of 58,000 sheep that departed Fremantle for the Middle East last week on the live export vessel, the Al Messilah. The month of June is the official start of the Middle East summer where the risks of sheep suffering and dying on vessels from heat stress during the northern-hemisphere summer are well documented.

“We believe the granting of this export permit by the Department of Agriculture was unlawful and we will be seeking an urgent Federal Court declaration to this effect,” said Legal Counsel for Animals Australia, Shatha Hamade.

Under Australian law, an export permit for livestock may only be granted if certain conditions are met. These conditions include that the Secretary for the Department of Agriculture, or his delegate, be satisfied that the health, welfare and physical needs of the sheep will be met and maintained on an export voyage; and that the travel arrangements for the livestock will be adequate for their health and welfare.

“This export permit was granted despite animal health and welfare experts, including the Australian Veterinary Association, recommending sheep shipments to the Middle East during the summer period should not continue, due to the foreseeable and unavoidable welfare repercussions,” stated Hamade. “Animals Australia’s position is that, in light of the conditions required to be met, it is impossible to understand how any decision-maker acting reasonably could have arrived at the decision to approve this export permit.”

“The extensive science and data from the past two decades of shipping sheep during the extreme heat and humidity of a northern summer speak to the inevitable distress and suffering that these animals will endure,” continued Hamade.

A key recommendation from the McCarthy Review is that the heat stress risk assessment is changed from one of ‘mortality based’ to one that is ‘animal welfare based’. This has not been implemented yet export permits continue to be granted.

People can support Animals Austrailia‘s efforts to challenge the legality of horrific live animal exports HERE!

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