The RSPCA has welcomed the decision of the federal Department of Agriculture overnight to suspend the license of a second live sheep export company.
The suggestion that a suspended live exporter would be able to sidestep their action by using an associated company to export their sheep was deeply concerning, and would have revealed a gaping loophole in already-flawed live export regulation.
This export and others at this time of year should never have been slated to go ahead.
These sheep would have been sent from moderate Perth winter temperatures into the searing heat and humidity of a Middle Eastern summer, facing certain heat stress, suffering and death.
These risks and conditions are routine and predictable.
Under these conditions, it’s just a matter of time before we see another disaster like the Awassi and the many before it.
Time and again, we see proof that live exporters are unwilling or unable to comply with Australian laws, and that Australia’s live export regulations cannot be enforced.
The RSPCA is reassured that the regulator has addressed the growing concerns of the community and acted to enforce existing live export regulations on this occasion.
However, until a total phase-out of live sheep exports is achieved, the next catastrophe will always be just around the corner.
The RSPCA expects the welfare of sheep kept at the feedlot south of Perth to be closely monitored and managed.
Just over three months since 60 Minutes aired, and tens of thousands of Australians continue to express their opposition to live exports at liveexport.rspca.org.au/take-action.