PRESS RELEASE: Sending animals back to Egypt inconceivable

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On MAY 6, 2013

Australians will be mortified to hear that Australia’s live export industry wants to continue sending animals to Egypt despite irrefutable evidence of horrendous cruelty to animals in that country. 

“I am shocked that at a time that Australians are still reeling at the news that Australian cattle have once again been abused in Egypt - the first thought of the industry is how to send more animals into that country,” said Animals Australia Campaign Director, Lyn White. 

“Their PR spin is not fooling anyone. If their priority was animal welfare, they would be the first to say that the risks to animals in Egypt are too great. They would be the first to say that these brutal slaughter boxes should never be used again - instead their proposal endorses the continued use of these cruel devices.”

“Australia is not influencing good animal welfare standards - we are condoning and contributing to appalling ones. Australian industry has been in the Egyptian market for nearly 20 years. Despite this, tendon slashing is still seen as acceptable and in addition we've led Egyptians to believe that tipping an animal upside down in a metal device and completely traumatising it prior to having its throat cut is acceptable to us.”

“An industry report two years ago indicated they knew of welfare problems with the restraint process at the accredited abattoir at Sokhna - those problems remain to this very day.  Why were these issues not acted upon earlier?"

“Only now, when their trade is at risk, do they show any interest in what has been going on at these facilities.” 

Animals Australia said the supposed 'animal welfare officers' proposed by industry today would be paid by the exporter, loyal to the exporter, and beholden to the exporter.  

“It would be naive in the extreme to believe that they will be there to protect the welfare of Australian animals. They will be there to protect the interests of their employer.”  

“There has already been an industry person at one of the abattoirs in question for the past two years yet basic behaviour such as checking an animal is dead before butchering it isn't even done.”  

"It is time for producers themselves to take a stand and say that they are sick of being deceived by exporters that all is well in importing countries, and refuse to supply their animals to this trade."

“There is no doubt that Australians will be calling on the Gillard Government not to reopen the live export trade to Egypt. We can only hope that they listen to the voice of the people rather than the live export industry.” 

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