Des Bellamy, PETA Australia, Byron Bay
Agriculture minister Joe Ludwig shouldn’t be surprised by the latest live export scandal, which involved disturbing cruelty to cattle in Egyptian slaughterhouses.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote to him some time ago with concerns that, even at the most stable of times, Egypt has had a poor track record when it came to animals.
We explained, in detail, how animals spend weeks packed onto crowded ships, often without food or water for long stretches of the journey.
When the ships reach their destination, workers forcibly unload the animals, often by beating them with metal bars, kicking them, or dragging them by their ears and legs.
Many animals are left in barren feedlots; some die from sickness or dehydration.
This is not just how they suffer in Egypt but across the Middle East.
PETA’s undercover investigators, with Animals Australia, in the past witnessed abattoir workers in Cairo cutting cattle’s
tendons and stabbing animals in the eyes.
As a result, the Australian government temporarily suspended live trade with Egypt in 2006 but quietly resumed the trade as soon as they could.
Egypt is not unique in inflicting suffering on animals who have already endured a hellish journey from Australia to the Middle East.
Mr Ludwig should have banned live exports years ago, but it’s not too late for him to take a stand.