Animal rights group Animals Australia has launched legal action against the Australian federal government and livestock export company Emanuel Exports to challenge the legality of its live sheep export permit.
The group claims that the export permit granted by the Department of Agriculture last week to Emanuel Exports for the export of 58,000 sheep from Western Australia to the Middle East on livestock carrier Al Messilah was unlawful.
“This export permit was granted despite animal health and welfare experts, including the Australian Veterinary Association, recommending sheep shipments to the Middle East during the summer period should not continue, due to the foreseeable and unavoidable welfare repercussions,” said Shatha Hamade, legal counsel for Animals Australia, .
“Animals Australia’s position is that, in light of the conditions required to be met, it is impossible to understand how any decision-maker acting reasonably could have arrived at the decision to approve this export permit,” Hamade added.
The first hearing of the case will commence today.
The legal action follows the start of criminal investigations into Emanuel Exports over the deaths of thousands of sheep in a series of voyages onboard livestock carrier Awassi Express.