Earlier this month 42 crew members and nearly 6,000 cows lost their lives when the live export ship Gulf Livestock1 capsized in the East China Sea. It is impossible to imagine the fear that both the crew—which included an Australian vet—and the cows would have felt when they were caught in a typhoon in the middle of the ocean, trapped aboard a sinking ship. The search for survivors has been called off. This horrifying event is not the first live export shipping catastrophe in recent years, nor will it be the last. Live export is a brutal and high‑risk trade that puts the lives of both humans and animals in serious danger and has been defined by a series of disasters. Nearly every year we hear of a live export shipping tragedy. Over 13,000 sheep died when the Queen Hind capsized at port, 3,000 sheep burnt to death off the coast of Somalia and over 28,000 animals and 44 crew members died when a ship sank off the coast of Lebanon.
Ships capsizing, sinking and colliding, along with fires, mechanical failures and rough weather are to blame for the deaths of animals and crew members on live export ships. The most recent incident makes it abundantly clear that the live export trade is not only cruel but also dangerous and unnecessary. Without action to end the industry, those tragedies will continue to occur. The New Zealand Government has suspended all live exports in the wake of this horrific incident. I urge the Australian Government to do the same. For too long humans and animals have suffered the ultimate consequences of the high‑risk live export industry, which will stop at nothing in its pursuit of profit. If this tragedy tells us anything, it is that it is time to end the cruel live export trade for good.
Kosciuszko National Park is an important natural environment that is home to unique native animals that must be protected. However, the Animal Justice Party is equally concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of the wild horses that presently occupy Kosciusko. Let us be clear: No species of animal is planning an invasion and no species of animal has an evil intent. The wild horses that reside in Kosciusko did not ask to be brought here. I urge members of this House to think compassionately and consider the interests of all species of animals involved in this situation. A wild horse has the same capacity to feel pain and fear as a native animal and their lives deserve the same level of dignity and respect. Immunocontraceptives have successfully been used in the United States to reduce horse numbers for over 15 years. It is time for Australia to catch up.
This past Sunday was “Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day.”
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, thousands of people banded together online to voice their opposition to this cruel industry, which tortures and kills millions of animals every year.
Australia’s continued involvement in the live export industry is a national and international embarrassment. The views of the community are clear. 75% of Australians want to stop the live animal export trade.
This is because they have seen expose after expose, showing the shocking conditions in which sheep and cattle are kept on these ships. They have seen how animals are packed so tightly they can’t lie down and rest, or access food and water. They have seen animals suffering from extreme heat, exhaustion, rough seas, poor ventilation, and surrounded by millions of litres of untreated waste. They know that many of these animals will die along the way from heat stress, broken bones, dehydration and other illnesses -- while the “lucky” survivors are painfully slaughtered when they arrive at their destination.
For just a moment, put yourself in these animals‘ position. Imagine it was you on one of these ships, on your way to die. It is terrifying on a scale that is hard to comprehend. And yet, in Australia, it is entirely legal to do this to sentient animals that feel pain and suffering in the same way we do.
A few weeks ago, six crew members on a live export ship in Fremantle tested positive for coronavirus. This meant a planned shipment of 50,000 sheep to Kuwait was delayed.
In response, the exporter – who already has a notorious record on animal welfare – submitted an application to the Government to export the sheep on a delayed timeframe, departing after 1 June.
Just 2.5 months ago, the Government introduced regulations banning live export ships from travelling to the Middle East after 1 June, recognising that Northern Hemisphere summer is the hottest and most dangerous time for animals to travel.
After initially rejecting the application for an exemption, the Government back flipped 10 days later, happy to break their own rules and risk many of these 50,000 sheep being boiled alive in the blistering heat.
A last minute injunction sought by Animals Australia was sadly unsuccessful.
This is truly disgusting conduct from a Government that has shown time and time again that it will always put profit above the suffering of a living being.
But the people of Australia will not stop fighting for these animals. The Animal justice Party will not stop fighting for these animals. To every single animal forced into the brutal live export trade: I see you, I hear you, and I will continue to fight for you.
Live Animal Export will end. Our fight is to make that sooner rather than later.
Fish farming is animal cruelty
Imagine being imprisoned in a tiny space with hundreds of others, packed together so tightly that you can barely move, struggling as others attack you and parasites eat away at your flesh. Imagine if the only way you can escape this torture is when you are gutted alive or left to slowly suffocate to death. This is the reality for fish in intensive fish farms, one of the most overlooked forms of animal cruelty. Fish feel pain, they are self-aware, they remember, they build relationships and exhibit emotional responses. Deliberately inflicting pain and suffering on these animals is inexcusable. For too long the suffering of these sentient animals has gone unnoticed by governments all around the world. The Animal Justice Party is going to change that.Posted by Emma Hurst - Animal Justice Party MP on Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Slaughterhouse Workers Have PTSD
3 animals per second, over 10,000 per hour - that’s how many animals are killed in abattoirs across Australia, day in, day out. And it’s not just animals that suffer – abattoir workers do too. I’ve seen the undercover footage in slaughterhouses – of animals beaten, punched, kicked, ridden, smashed with hammers, screaming as they are gassed, or improperly stunned and still conscious when their throats are slit- I’ve seen it all. But it is too simple to blame the slaughterhouse workers. We need to recognise the psychological toll for those working in these places. Research has linked ‘slaughter work’ to a variety of mental health issues including PTSD and the lesser-known PITS (perpetration-induced traumatic stress). It’s also connected to increased crime rates, domestic abuse, and substance abuse. But the solution is simple – every time someone buys flesh they are funding an industry that is cruel to animals, and that exploits vulnerable workers. If you want to end violence- don’t buy it. #GoVeganPosted by Emma Hurst - Animal Justice Party MP on Thursday, July 2, 2020
Frankenstein is alive- in the animal agribusiness industry
Frankenstein is alive- the chicken 'meat' agribusiness industry has bred chickens to grow so fast that they are in chronic pain for the last days of their lives. Every year 26 million chickens will die before they are trucked off to slaughter from illness, trauma or starvation because their bodies are so large and painful, they can't even move to reach food or water. Every day we are in parliament we make it our mission to tell the stories of the billions of animals suffering behind closed doors. Many of the decision-makers in our state have never heard of these atrocities before. We will continue to shine a light.Posted by Emma Hurst - Animal Justice Party MP on Thursday, June 18, 2020
Dead, Dying, Diseased, Disabled: The Ugly Truth of the 'Pet' Food Industry
What you may be unknowingly feeding your fur baby will shock you. 4D meat comes from animals who arrive at the slaughterhouse Dead, Dying, Diseased or Disabled - and many commercial 'pet' food brands contain 4D meat. Despite a number of incidents in Australia where animals have become seriously sick or died from consuming contaminated food, there remains a serious lack of industry regulation. Truth is, the ‘pet’ food industry causes harm to both farm and companion animals alike. But what if we don’t have to kill one animal to feed another? The future of the companion animal food industry is cell-based meats mixed with high quality and well researched vegan alternatives. I am looking forward to seeing developments in clean meats that can be fed to carnivorous or omnivorous animals we share our lives with – but I know this is a heavily debated topic- what are your thoughts?Posted by Emma Hurst - Animal Justice Party MP on Thursday, June 25, 2020
We can end Live Export
The live animal export industry regulator has granted an exemption for an exporter to travel in the blistering heat that could see Australian sheep cooked alive. Here in NSW we have been alerted to a new atrocity- with the Western Sydney Airport opening in 2026, the Live Export industry could expand in NSW with air travel. I know we are all feeling helpless. I know it feels like it couldn’t get any worse. But history shows us that the Government’s brutal and continued support for a cruel and heinous industry will be its undoing. With each vile decision to ignore animal suffering and animal sentience, the industry and government lose the trust of the people. We won’t just expose this industry- we will end it. Enough. #BanLiveExportPosted by Emma Hurst - Animal Justice Party MP on Tuesday, June 16, 2020
In Opposition Of Gone Fishing Day
Yesterday I stood in opposition to a Notice of Motion in support of Gone Fishing Day because fish feel pain, they are self-aware, they remember, they build relationships and exhibit emotional responses. Deliberately inflicting pain and suffering on these sentient animals should not be celebrated - especially when the fishing industry kills more individual animals than any other form of animal slaughter. No matter if you are skin, scales, fur or feathers, native or non-native, rodent, or fish, or cow, or dog, I will protect you. I stand by you. I will fiercely defend you. It is our party that will keep that promise, and we will never, ever let you down. Fishing is not a sport, it is animal cruelty.Posted by Emma Hurst - Animal Justice Party MP on Wednesday, June 3, 2020