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Australia bans the export of live sheep at sea – E24

Australia bans the export of live sheep at sea – E24

This disputed practice is scheduled to be phased out over a period of four years.

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Sheep farming is an important source of livelihood in Australia. The country is the world's largest wool producer and produces large quantities of lamb and mutton.

In addition, live sheep are exported by boat, especially to Middle Eastern countries. This was the case for more than 593,000 animals in 2023, according to the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Authority (M&LA).

Now the government is setting a deadline for the controversial practice. Live sheep exports at sea are set to be phased out by May 1, 2028, according to Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, who announced the news on Saturday.

No more chances

Watt said, according to what was reported by Reuters, that we are developing a plan for the future of the sheep industry, which will add more value to the lands, which in turn means more job opportunities locally. ABC News Australia.

Murray was also quoted as saying that the industry “has shown time and time again that it is unable to meet society's expectations.”

He wants the sheep industry to seize the ban as an opportunity to process more meat on the ground. The transition will be facilitated by an aid package worth A$107 million (about NOK 773.4 million).

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Disputed

The practice of exporting sheep to the sea has been a matter of debate for a long time. Major tragedies and media coverage of abuse have led many to question whether this is so The trade must end.

Animal rights activists have long worked to end the export of live sheep.  Here it is from the 2004 demonstration.

In 2017, about 2,400 sheep died due to the heat on board the Oasi Express. The ship docked due to lack of adequate ventilation. Photos taken by an informant showed animals in dilapidated barns, panting from the heat, according to the report Watchman.

Earlier this year A ship carrying 16,000 sheep ran aground In extreme temperatures off the coast of Australia.

– The express train to tragedy

Now animal welfare organizations are cheering, while agricultural organization the National Farmers' Union believes the government has gone too far.

– Murray Watt decided to book us on the express train of tragedy, says director Tony Maher in a statement, according to what was reported by the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. Reuters.

He notes that members were shocked by the four-year timeline for the phase-out.

The representative of the center-right National Party was not generous in his criticism either.

– This is a cowardly move by a hostile minister who doesn't care how this message affects families suffering from drought during the sowing process, he told ABC News.

The ban does not include the export of live sheep by air, the Australian Department of Agriculture wrote for its part Websites. It will not apply to other livestock, such as cattle.

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