Live export protest in Adelaide calls for end to ‘cruel’ practice

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MORE than 1000 people have rallied in central Adelaide as part of a national protest against live animal exports to the Middle East.

Protesters gathered outside Parliament House, on North Terrace, on Saturday to vent their fury against the controversial practice.

The CBD rally was one of five organised for Saturday. Thousands of protesters also took to the streets in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.

RSPCA South Australia’s Animal Welfare Advocate, Dr Rebekah Eyers, spoke to the crowd where she condemned the “cruel” practice.

“Politicians will have the choice to either contribute to the end of what is one of the most shameful chapters of animal treatment in our nation’s history — or be remembered for allowing it to continue on their watch,” she said.

The RSPCA said the last ship to leave Port Adelaide loaded with South Australian sheep and cattle, was the Al Shuwaikh, which is now in the Middle East where temperatures can hit 45C.

The practice has provoked heated national debate — the National Farmers’ Federation has argued against a ban while animal welfare groups want the trade to end.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud last month announced harsher penalties for exporters who did not protect the welfare of animals.

It came after the McCarthy Review made 23 recommendations to improve live sheep exports and animal welfare standards on overseas shipments.

The review was prompted by video footage that showed sheep dehydrated and dying on board the Awassi Express on a three-week journey to the Middle East.

Hundreds of animal welfare advocates called for the trade to be banned as 1400 cattle and 23,000 sheep were loaded on to the Bader III in Port Adelaide in April.

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