PUBLISHED ON: 23 October 2008
The importance of Animals Australia's investigations in the Middle East has again been highlighted with the major Bahraini livestock importer banning the transport of Australian sheep in car boots during the pending Festival of Sacrifice in December.
Footage of the abuse of Australian sheep filmed by Animals Australia investigators at the Bahrain Livestock Company Feedlot during last year Festival aired twice on national television in Australia during the past nine months heightening public calls for live export to end.
Australians were distressed by witnessing trussed Australian sheep being dragged and thrown onto trucks or shoved into car boots to be taken for home sacrifice.
The major Bahrain newspaper Gulf News has reported that a fear of live export being banned has resulted in the Bahrain Livestock Company introducing regulations that will require buyers of sheep for home sacrifice to transport them in 'appropriate livestock vehicles'.
This decision by the Bahrain Livestock Corporation clearly indicates the importance of exposing and opposing animal cruelty. Animals Australia's work has forced this signficant development that Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has been unable to achieve during decades of work in Bahrain.
MLA has tried desperately to convince the Australian public that they need to 'continue to export animals to be able to improve welfare in the Middle East'. The facts reveal this claim to be outrageously false. It is the fear of losing access to Australian animals, not the supply of them, that has forced the introduction of these regulations in Bahrain.
For the first time Bahrainis will be told that transporting sheep in car boots and throwing and trussing them is unacceptable. Had Animals Australia not exposed this treatment during last years festival, thousands of animals would have endured this treatment again in Bahrain this year.
Whilst this progress is welcomed, what mustn't be forgotten is that sheep exported to Bahrain for this Festival will still endure the stress of being transported on a livestock vessel for 15 days and the terror of being slaughtered whilst fully conscious in private premises throughout Bahrain.