Australia’s Agricultural Minister David Littleproud has threatened to block a ship leaving Australia over concerns for the welfare of the animals on board. A ship carrying over 63,000 sheep saw 2,400 die due to a heat event and inadequate care of the animals during the transportation in 2017.
Sky News has reported that the government will block the ship unless the exporter agrees to a number of conditions set by the government. Littleproud has launched an investigation into the deaths of the sheep during transit to the Middle East, after Animals Australia supplied him with “deeply disturbing” footage.
In the videos supplied to him there was footage of dead and decaying sheep, and he described what has happened as “total bulls**t” and “disgusting”. He has requested that the shipping company’s practices from August 2017 from this export be thoroughly examined. In addition, there was a vet on board the ship, raising more questions as to why 2,400 animals were allowed to die due to a heat event and were not given access to adequate care.
Littleproud said: “There was an unacceptable fatality rate because of a heat event. I asked for further information. I also wrote to the live export industry.
“I saw footage provided to me by Animals Australia which is very disturbing. I am shocked and gutted. This is the livelihood of Australian farmers that are on that ship. This is their pride and job and this is total bulls**t that what I saw has taken place.”
Littleproud has promised to take action against those that have not fulfilled their responsibilities, whether it be the exporter, staff on board the ship or the regulator.