Live animal exports to Egypt from Australia have been suspended after Animals Australia – a leading animal rights organization who has exposed cruelty in the controversial export trade – revealed new evidence of widespread animal cruelty in the North African country. According to the Australia-based animal rights group, “investigators have recently returned from Egypt,” where they gathered evidence described as “damning, showing Australian cattle being subjected to brutal treatment in the country’s only two accredited abattoirs.”
As a result, Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council announced it was suspending the trade of animals to Egypt after it said publicly the new footage revealed actions by Egyptians that was “horrific.”
This is not the first time exports to Egypt have been suspended. In 2006, after other gross violations of animal rights and cruelty emerged, the trade was stopped, but was resumed later despite protests from Animals Australia and activists in Australia.
“Footage has been provided to the Federal Department of Agriculture. As a result, Australia’s live export industry — which has consistently lauded these facilities as being state-of-the-art — is in damage control. Late tonight they announced that they have voluntarily suspended the live trade to Egypt,” said Animals Australia in a statement published on their website breaking the news.
In December, Green Prophet reported that some 30,000 cows died on a ship destined for Egypt after the Egyptian government refused to allow the ship to dock at a Red Sea port. They were slaughtered as a “precaution,” the ministry said.
Animals Australia’s Campaign Director, Lyn White, said in a statement that the ship was anchored at sea after being refused port in a number of countries in the region, including Egypt, where the cattle were supposed to be offloaded.
It’s understood that ventilation problems on the converted livestock vessel, the MV Gracia Del Mar, had caused the deaths of more than half of the animals on board since the ship left South America for Egypt a few weeks ago.
The ship was anchored in the Red Sea for weeks and saw more animals perish as a result.
“This is nothing short of an animal welfare disaster. If remaining cattle are not offloaded more of these animals will suffer appalling deaths at sea. We are appealing to authorities in Egypt to offload the remaining cattle at al-Sohkna, as was originally intended.
“This disaster is just another example of the inherent risks of transporting animals by sea. It was only nine years ago that 5,000 Australian sheep perished on board the MV Cormo Express after country after country refused to allow it to berth.
“And this isn’t the first time that mechanical issues have caused mass deaths on live export ships. We only need to look to the breakdown of the Al Messilah in Adelaide last year. Had that vessel broken down on the open ocean it would have caused a similar welfare catastrophe — as thousands of animals would have died,” she said.
Image for illustration purposes via Liveexportshame