LAST UPDATED: 29 October 2021
Sheep in Romania have been given a voice – this time, through a powerful song, Save Miorița. With the help of popular singer, Mădălina Pavăl, the team at Animals Australia’s global arm, Animals International, have reimagined and re-recorded one of Romania’s most loved folk ballads.
The song and touching video have already inspired thousands of caring Romanians to add their voice to calls for an end to live export.
The ballad of Miorița tells the story of a lamb who hears of a plot to kill her shepherd and intervenes to save him. It has inspired countless artists and poets over generations and symbolises the strong connection between the Romanian people, the land and the animals.
In the reimagined version of the traditional Romanian song, there is a special twist - instead of the lamb saving the life of her shepherd, Miorița now pleads for the shepherd to spare her, and her friends, from the brutality of the live export industry.
We know that if animals, like Miorița, could plead their own case for kindness, such cruel industries would cease to exist. This new campaign is giving a louder voice to the countless victims, whose pain has been ignored, and hidden, by ruthless live export companies for far too long.
The only way to protect these animals is to ban live export
Undercover investigations carried out again this year reveal the shocking treatment of Romanian animals sent on gruelling journeys half-way around the world — only to be killed for ‘meat’ when they arrive.
Investigation after investigation across the globe has captured evidence showing why the live export industry cannot be trusted with the welfare of animals. So long as governments permit it to operate, animals will suffer at sea, on trucks and when slaughtered at their eventual destinations. The only way to protect these animals from unnecessary suffering is to ban live export completely.
Each year in Romania, more than one million calves and sheep – one million gentle animals just like Miorița – are forced onto ships
Romania is the largest exporter of live animals from Europe. Year after year, sheep, young calves and cattle are loaded onto overcrowded decks where they stay, frightened and stressed, until they reach the Middle East and North Africa.
On board, their experience can be unimaginable. Heat stress, starvation, illness, injury, and death are very real risks — and those who survive the gruelling journey, face rough handling and painful fully conscious slaughter.
Globally, we share the same hope – that this little lamb’s wish to be spared from live export is granted
Almost two years have passed since the Queen Hind capsized just off Romanian shores, resulting in the death of nearly all sheep – some 14,000 animals – on board. This is not the only time a ship has capsized – sadly, both people and animals have lost their lives on sinking live export ships.
Since then, opposition to live export from within Romania has only intensified with multiple new laws proposed to restrict the trade as well as end it completely. These debates are heating up – in the media and in the halls of parliament – creating important opportunities to bring an end to live export ever closer.
Amid a pandemic and local political upheaval, why have we launched now? The answer is simple – the animals need us.
Romania is currently navigating severe impacts of COVID-19 as well as a period of significant political disruption. In Romania, and internationally, it is a time of great change – and this opens opportunities to create the world which we all wish to see. In this world, there is no place for live export and its inherent cruelty.
A deep connection with animals is part of Romania’s national story — evident in the beloved ballad of the little sheep named Miorița. Now is as crucial time as ever, to band together, and move towards a country, and a world, where our actions align with our values.
You can help Romania’s sheep, from anywhere in the world
Animals International is reminding the nation’s decision-makers of a simple truth: that kindness dwells in each of us.
And by putting kindness before the interests of an inherently cruel industry, we will not only be ‘saving Miorița’ when we end live export — we’ll be one step closer to the kinder world we want to create for all.