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Investigation in Australia into sheep shipboard deaths

Staff Writer |
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has launched an investigation into the deaths of thousands of livestock during transit to the Middle East, after being supplied with footage of decaying sheep by Animals Australia.

Mr Littleproud said what occurred was just "total bullshit" and "disgusting" and has asked for the shipping company's practices on the August 2017 export to be thoroughly examined.

He said 63,000 sheep were being exported from Perth to the Middle East and, although there was a vet onboard the ship, 2400 died because of a heat event.

A report was submitted by the shipping company last Thursday and the minister requested further information when he saw the fatality rate and research about "high heat mortalities".

However, on Wednesday, footage taken during the export of the sheep was supplied to his office.

These included two four-minute videos which depicted dead and decaying sheep, he said.

"There was an unacceptable fatality rate because of a heat event. I asked for further information. I also wrote to the live export industry," Mr Littleproud said.

"I saw footage provided to me by Animals Australia which is very disturbing. I am shocked and gutted. This is the livelihood of Australian farmers that are on that ship."

"This is their pride and joy and this is total bullshit that what I saw has taken place," he added.

He thanked Animals Australia for acting as a whistle blower.

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