Australia: Send an Urgent Message to Federal Agriculture Minister Burke and Ask Him to Ensure That the Killing of Conscious Sheep is Made Illegal in Australia


It’s hard to imagine that the government would even consider making it legal to cut the throats of fully conscious animals in Australia—but they are.

With Middle Eastern importers completely accepting that animals will be stunned unconscious before being killed, there is no need whatsoever for our government to permit this barbaric practice.

Dear friends,

In mid-2007 Animals Australia was shocked to learn that several Victorian abattoirs were exploiting a legal loophole and slaughtering fully conscious sheep (without stunning) for small export contracts to the Middle East—despite this brutal method of slaughter being completely opposed by the Australian public. We immediately alerted former federal Agriculture Minister McGauran, and he in turn called for a review of the practice.

After an excessive delay of more than 18 months, a report will be presented to the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) meeting on April 23rd…

Slitting the throats of fully conscious animals is unimaginably cruel. Research conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reveals that sheep remain conscious for up to 20 seconds after their throats are cut. The EFSA concluded that “due to the serious animal welfare issues associated with slaughter without stunning, all animals which are slaughtered should be adequately stunned in a humane way.”

If it is deemed legal by our government to slaughter fully conscious sheep, Australia’s claim to being a ‘world leader’ in animal welfare will be irreparably damaged, replaced instead by knowledge that Australia is prepared to drastically reduce animal welfare standards for the sake of profit. Such a decision will also undermine vital efforts overseas to have pre-slaughter stunning accepted as halal by the entire Muslim community.

Please send an urgent message to Federal Agriculture Minister Burke and ask him to ensure that the killing of conscious sheep is made illegal in Australia.

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