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Export ship with 65,000 sheep blocked from going to Middle East

An investigation into the alleged mistreatment of animals on live export ships has widened.

Maritime officials have blocked an export ship carrying 65,000 sheep to the Middle East from leaving Australia after footage emerged of distressed and dying animals.

The vision, first shown by Channel Nine, shows hundreds of sheep struggling to breathe and dying in extreme heat on voyages to the Middle East.

It’s prompted calls for a halt on trade over the summer months, but that’s been rejected by the Agriculture Minister.

Instead, David Littleproud has ordered a review of his own department, amid concerns it’s failing to properly enforce animal welfare standards

CEO of Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council Simon Westaway tells Ross Greenwood companies are working to improve their practices.

“It’s now a $20-billion export earner for Australia.

“But we’re not walking away from the animal welfare issue that was exposed.”

Mr Westaway tells Ross he won’t break ties with the carrier, but will instead ensure the conditions are amended.

Meanwhile, one exporter is being forced to hold off on a shipment due to leave Perth tomorrow, after the vessel failed an inspection

Listen to the full interview below 

Image: Channel 9