April 04, 2012
The protesters are chained to the gate
Photo: Police attempt to cut free two protesters chained to a gate at
Fremantle port. (ABC News: Graeme Powell)
Police have arrested
animal rights protesters who boarded a live export ship at the port of
Fremantle in Western Australia.
Around a dozen activists boarded the
ship, Al Shuwaikh, under the cover of darkness to film what they say is
Three protesters were locked onto the ship while
another two attached themselves to the front gate of the port.
Police Tactical Response Group worked to detach the activists.
of the protesters, Cameron Johnson, says they are calling for the live sheep
export trade to be halted.
"The damage that's been done, the cruelty
that's been perpetrated overseas starts here," he said.
"What we are
trying to highlight and raise awareness about is that it's not just overseas
that these animals are being mistreated, as is evidenced by the videos we're
seeing coming out of the ports that they're destined to go to, it's actually
the cruelty starting here in Australia.
"We're complicit in what's
going on with these animals and we need to take greater responsibility for
Police have arrested six protesters and say they
will be charged with trespass.
One of the men attempted to escape by
jumping overboard into the harbour but he was caught and has been charged
with trespass and escaping legal custody.
The Western Australian
Farmers Federation's Jeff Murray has condemned their actions, saying
measures are in place to protect animal welfare.
"To be disrupted by
these radicals is very disappointing," he said.
"We all rely heavily
on the live export trade in Western Australia and the Federal Government has
put in place all the hoops to jump through.
"At the end of the day,
we're on the other side of the water, we're a long way away from where all
the action is taking place but, I think, with the monitoring that's in place
I'm sure we've got as good a thing in place as we can get."
Johnson says, however, they are highlighting the cruelty of the live sheep
"What we're trying to do is point out that these animals
could be slaughtered in Australia, creating jobs in Australia, for
Australians rather than sending them overseas and dealing with all the
unpleasantness that happens to these animals; cruelty, basically," he said.
Mr Johnson claimed to be acting on behalf of Animals Australia but
the animal welfare organisation has denied any connection to the group and
says the protest was not organised by them.
Police have set up a
barricade to allow the loading of sheep to continue.
sheep-production , trade , livestock-welfare , fremantle-6160 , perth-6000