A Chance to Prevent Animal Suffering

Dubai Livestock Market Investigation Video Dubai Livestock Market: Australian Sheep Sales the Night Before and Morning of the Festival of Sacrifice Bahrain Livestock Corporation Feedlot Investigation Video Bahrain Livestock Corporation Feedlot: Australian Sheep Sales the Day Before the Festival of Sacrifice
Further Information:

An Open Letter to Australian Sheep Farmers:

Live exporters will soon be filling ships with Australian animals destined for the Eid al Adha, the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice, which will commence on December 8th this year.

The ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ is the peak time of animal suffering in the Middle East. Thousands of individual animals are purchased for home ‘sacrifice’, and abattoirs work at far greater than their capacity—all leading to signficant animal suffering.

Animals Australia investigators have been in the Middle East for the past three Eid festivals. These investigations has been undertaken to provide Australian farmers with the information necessary to make an informed choice as to the appropriateness of exporting their animals.

Evidence gathered of the brutal treatment of Australian sheep by investigators in Egypt has prevented further sheep from being exported to Egypt for this festival. Despite similar widespread abuse being documented during last year’s Eid in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, animals will still be sourced for these destinations for this year’s festival.

On the morning of the Eid, animals are killed in homes or on footpaths, often by inexperienced slaughterers. Animals taken to abattoirs are not guaranteed a kinder fate. Last year at the Dubai Slaughterhouse, lines of cars with animals in boots awaiting slaughter extended some two kilometres. Two streets away, a crowd watched the ‘sacrifice’ of an imported steer from Somalia. The terror of this animal, as its legs were trussed and thrown to the ground was undeniable.

All of the treatment documented during the Eid—the dragging, trussing and tossing of live animals, the trauma caused by transporting them in boots and their brutal slaughter—is considered “Makruh” (extremely undesirable and frowned upon) in Islamic teachings, yet with no legislation to prohibit it, such treatment occurs routinely throughout the Middle East. The provision of millions of animals each year from a country such as Australia has reinforced local beliefs that this treatment of animals is acceptable.

The first step to change, is identifying that change is needed. Australian farmers are in a unique position to convey a message that the welfare of livestock matters, by choosing not to supply animals to this festival. Egypt, when faced with a limited supply of live animals due to welfare concerns, increased its importation of chilled meat for distribution and has acknowledged that it must upgrade its abattoirs to meet international standards.

Similarly, Animals Australia investigations have led to historic change in Jordan where evidence documented has been used by the Royal family to close a brutal slaughterhouse and to gain the support of the Jordanian government for an overhaul of their meat processing systems. This unprecedented progress has been achieved through exposing and opposing animal cruelty—a position LiveCorp/MLA have been unable to take in wanting to maintain positive trade relationships.

We appeal to you, if you are considering exporting animals in the next month, to reconsider. Please watch the investigation videos on the left. If the treatment that your animals are likely to receive in the Middle East during this festival is unacceptable to you, it is within your power to prevent their suffering.