6 Oct 2012

Protest across Australia against live animal exports

6:08 pm on 6 October 2012

Hundreds of people have attended rallies across Australia on Saturday to protest against live animal exports.

The protests follow the release of video showing Australian sheep being inhumanely killed in Pakistan.

Police estimate 500 people gathered in central Sydney, waving banners with messages directed to the Prime Minister like "come on Julia, don't be a chicken" and "stop the animal holocaust".

Hundreds of people also attended similar rallies in Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart and Fremantle near Perth.

Speaking at the Sydney rally, Clare Mann from Animals Australia recalled how many protesters had stood at the same place a year ago, following a programme on ABC that showed cattle being mistreated in Indonesia.

"Our heads were bowed in despair, grief, pain and disbelief at what we saw," she told the crowd.

"Disbelief that somehow we had lost something very important in our societal values. Even though those animals do not have a voice, we are their voice."

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon told the crowd it is possible to halt the live export trade, the ABC reports.

"Politicians can stop this industry at the stroke of a pen. The harder we work the quicker it will be finished."

The protests follow the brutal slaughter of almost half a shipment of 21,000 Australian sheep in Pakistan last month.

The sheep were killed before a court order was obtained by the owners halting the cull.

The Agriculture Department is investigating claims some were buried alive.

The fate of the remaining sheep is now likely to be decided by the court on 17 October.