The RSPCA has welcomed the cancellation of Emanuel Exports licence but says removing one leading exporter is not enough to protect animals or farmers from the cruelty and volatility of live export.
“Live sheep exporters have a shameful history of flouting Australia's animal welfare standards, and decisive action to address this is long overdue,” said RSPCA Australia Senior Policy Officer Dr Jed Goodfellow
“We await confirmation of the permanent cancellation or otherwise of the two other licences associated with Emanuel Exports' partner corporations, EMS Rural exports and International Livestock Exports (ILE),
“However, the Australian public should be under no illusion that Emanuel was a rogue operator or an outlier," said Dr Goodfellow.
“This was Australia's largest live sheep exporter, one that was repeatedly recognised as a leader by the industry,
“Emanuel represented what the live export industry thinks 'good animal welfare' looks like, and the conditions we saw on multiple journeys of the Awassi Express were business as usual,” he said.
“We remain very concerned there has been no indication of what improvements will apply from October onwards, following the highest-risk Middle Eastern summer period,
“The overcrowding we saw on the Awassi, the inability of sheep to lie down or access food and water will happen again if stocking density isn't substantially reduced all year round,
“Right now, sheep farmers are facing uncertainty because the live export industry has let them down again,
“This will always be the case as long as live sheep exports continue - another disaster is always just around the corner,” said Dr Goodfellow.
“The only way to provide certainty for our farmers' future and protect the welfare of our animals is to end live sheep export in favour of an expanded trade in chilled and frozen meat from animals that have been humanely slaughtered and processed here in Australia, he said.