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State Comptroller slams inaction over complaints of live shipment cruelty

TJI Pick
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Published: 8 May 2020

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Agriculture Ministry accused of turning blind eye to infringements by ship owners and importers; 33% of imported cattle and 16% of lambs came from Australia in past year

A STATE COMPTROLLER’S REPORT issued Monday on the import of calves and lambs to Israel for fattening and slaughter confirms the numerous testimonies that have piled up over recent years about the cruelty of the live shipments.

Ships are often in poor condition, suffering from insufficient ventilation, high temperatures and humidity; animals are forced to live in their own excrement; wet bedding is not changed often enough; food and water is often lacking; and the air is thick with the smell of ammonia from urine which causes the animals breathing difficulties and sore eyes.

Yet next to nothing is done to ensure that complaints are followed up, conditions improve and regulations are adhered to, the report says.

Furthermore, not enough is being done to monitor, deal with and develop new plans to limit the spread of diseases that can jump from livestock to infect humans.

The animal welfare organisation Animals Now (formerly Anonymous for Animal Rights), said in a statement Monday that “years of lawlessness have proven beyond any doubt that the Agriculture Ministry has monumentally failed in its supervision.” Animal abuse was inherent in these long journeys, it said, and there was no way to transport animals in this way without causing them acute suffering.

Last year, according to the State Comptroller’s report, a third of imported cattle and 16% of lambs came from Australia, with a quarter of calves and over 70% of lambs coming from Portugal.

FULL STORY State Comptroller pans Agriculture Ministry over cruel live shipments of animals (Times of Israel)

Photo: Screenshot from Australian TV's 60 Minutes broadcast about live shipments, shown April 8, 2018

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