In another win for animal welfare groups, Australia's largest live sheep exporter, Emanuel Exports, has had its licence to export suspended following breaches to animal welfare conditions.
Emanuel Export licence to export suspended
In a huge win for campaigners against the live export trade in Australia, Emmanuel Exports has today had its licence suspended following ongoing investigations into breaches of animal welfare conditions.
The company has been under intense media and government scrutiny in recent months after horrific footage was aired in August last year showing the mass death of livestock aboard one of its managed vessels.
Filmed by whistleblowers on board a vessel on its way to the Middle East, livestock could be seen suffering and dying from severe heat stress and horrendous conditions.
The shipment of 63,804 sheep and 50 cattle saw 2,400 sheep effectively 'boiled alive' with the dead subsequently dumped into the ocean.
Not the first time for Emanuel Export
Since the footage was aired, Emanuel Export has been under investigation by Australia's industry regulator, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Today's suspension follows some of those investigations, which discovered new historical breaches of animal welfare conditions. Those breaches are said to be numerous and relate to stocking densities over some years.
Another major live exporter, LSS, this week redirected its summer export trade from the Middle East to South America. Coupled with Emanuel Export's suspension, industry sources suggest the Middle East could expect to receive just one third of Australia's entire live trade.
Australia's live export industry
Australia makes up the largest component of the worldwide live export trade as the largest exporter of cattle and sheep.
It has been reported that over 550,000 animals died between 2000 and 2012 during the long, hot and unfathomable journey by sea - with the majority further meeting a grizzly end at their destination.
With years of animal welfare campaigning and increasing pressure on the industry, animal welfare groups and activists are closely watching political responses to see how these breaches will be managed. They continue to push for an outright ban on live export.