Port Adelaide sheep should be processed in Australia

Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called for sheep, due to be reloaded today onto a new vessel at Port Adelaide, to be processed in Australia not sent onto Kuwait. She congratulated those gathering at Port Adelaide to protest the trade.

"The 67,000 sheep have already experienced harsh conditions due to bungling and mechanical failure on the Al Messilah converted car carrier. They should not have to endure more suffering on the almost three week journey to the Middle East," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The RSPCA has reported that approximately 300 sheep perished during the 10 days before they were first unloaded. Who knows how many will now die at sea.

 "The MV Al Shuwaikh, brought in to transport the sheep to the Middle East, has an even worse record for mortalities and breakdowns than the first vessel.

"This ship was subject to major inquiries by Maritime Safety and Australian Quarantine authorities after 5,800 sheep died on one voyage in 2002, in the heat and humidity of a Middle East summer.

"Public sympathy for a phasing out of live exports is still strong.

"The Greens will continue to seek support for a live export ban through the Senate inquiry due to report on 21 September 2011," Senator Rhiannon said.