• Annemeet Hasidi-van Der Leij

Animal Australia update

Updated: Jul 29

22nd of August 2018

Eid al Adha Islamitische Offerfeest

Millions of animals are sacrificed world wide today in the Festival of Sacrifice in obedience to Allah. Eid al-Adha - 'Feast of the Sacrifice', also called the "Festival of Sacrifice", is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr), and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.

The following is a letter from Animals Australia to everyone who supports this organization. This week (from 19-25 August 2018) marks 10 weeks since the last sheep ship left our shores on its way to the Middle East to be slaughtered in the Festival of Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha. Since the shocking conditions on board live export ships were exposed in April, our collective efforts have cast an unprecedented spotlight on Australia’s cruellest trade. And with shipping stalled, countless animals have been spared from suffering at sea during the deadliest time of year — the scorching Middle Eastern summer. But, achieving this trade interruption brings with it an additional, significant benefit for these animals: hundreds of thousands of Aussie sheep will be spared sacrificial slaughter this year. Our investigators are currently in the Middle East for the annual Eid al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) and they are all reporting back to me that there is an absence of Australian sheep in market places. For decades, Australian live exporters have flooded the Middle East with sheep at this time of year, in full knowledge of the brutality that will befall them. But not this year. For the first time in the history of this trade, rich export companies are no longer calling the shots. They are finally being held accountable to the law. As one of our closest supporters, I know you will be fully understanding of the scale of cruelty that countless Australian sheep have been spared from. Over the years our investigation footage of sheep suffocating in car boots and of frightened animals slowly dying in street gutters have been indelibly imprinted on our nation’s psyche — as representing the very worst atrocities fuelled by the live export trade. Of course, this news is bittersweet, because for so many other animals exported from around the world, today will still be a very frightening day. I want to assure you that we are there for these animals. I have stationed investigators in 13 countries across the Middle East and South East Asia. Whether from France, Brazil or Romania — right now — these animals will have people present who care about them, and who will not allow their stories to go untold. What our investigators witness and document over coming days will fuel our campaign and lobbying efforts in Europe and South America where we are working with some very fine advocates to bring an end to the global live export trade. I know you will be wishing our investigators well. They know you are with them in spirit, and like me, they are eternally grateful for your generosity that enables us to be where animals need us most.

Today (22 augustus 2018) we awoke to some truly great news in our ongoing campaign to save sheep from the horror of live export. Emanuel Exports has had their licence permanently cancelled by the regulator. One of the world's largest exporters of animals will no longer be able to operate. This company (and its directors) has been responsible for shipping the majority of the 200 million sheep that have been sent to the Middle East over the past forty years. Over 1.5 million defenceless animals have died on their vessels – and through the courage and compassion of a crewman Fazal Ullah – the world now knows the egregious suffering that this company was willing to accept for decades. My own journey with this company started shortly after joining CEO, Glenys Oogjes at Animals Australia in 2003. It is Emanuel Exports that was responsible for the Cormo Express disaster where over 5,000 sheep perished, and it was their shipment that I met in Kuwait City in November that year, on which over 1,000 sheep had died. While in Kuwait, I witnessed firsthand the brutal treatment that this company was prepared to expose millions of sheep to, for decades. The directors of Emanuel Exports have been responsible for some of the worst mass death events in the trade and the associated suffering that we now understand so fully. In 2006 we had them found guilty of cruelty in the WA Magistrates Court. We lodged legal complaint after legal complaint against them and generated media exposé after media exposé. And this year, we took this export giant to the Federal Court on behalf of animals. Animals Australia has battled this company for the past 15 years, and on each occasion that we revealed the suffering they were responsible for, we took them ever closer to the brink. So today, Emanuel's day of reckoning, has been a long time coming. It has been a David and Goliath battle throughout many years — and 'David' today has won. They may have had the 'power' and millions of dollars at their disposal. But we have been 'armed' by the glorious kind hearts of our generous supporters who have been prepared to back every courageous and compassionate action we have taken over those years. Today, as we remember all of those who've suffered, we breathe a sigh of relief for the countless animals who will be spared a horror journey. Lyn White AM, Research director


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