The filming was undertaken in response to whistleblower footage released on the 60 Minutes program over a week ago showing a voyage where thousands of sheep died of heat stress on the Awassi Express on their way to the Middle East for Emanuel Exports.
“Given the industry’s claims of improved transparency, there should be no reason not to release that raw and unedited footage immediately,” said Bidda Jones, RSPCA Australia chief scientist and strategy officer.
She says that whether or not the Australian public believe the conditions are acceptable should be put to the test: “Remembering this is just the start of the journey, before the overcrowding, heat and humidity cause conditions to deteriorate over the three to four week voyage.”
In response to the whistle-blower footage, the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources also placed a departmental observer on the Maysora — a converted car carrier like the Awassi Express. The RSPCA is also calling for the release of the images, footage and notes being collected daily by the observer to show how conditions change throughout the journey.
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