Morrissey says the country's animal live-export industry is "the slow boat to hell".

Morrissey has written a letter to Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister urging him to ban the country’s animal live-export industry.

Animal welfare charity PETA claims that every year Australia “exports millions of live animals to countries in the Middle East and Asia”, alleging that “many die of dehydration, starvation, or disease before they reach their destination”.

In the letter to Barnaby Joyce, who is Australia’s Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources as well as its Deputy Prime Minister, Morrissey writes: “The horrific cruelty in the live-export industry is heavy enough to sink a ship, yet you insist on condemning millions of animals to this fate every year. You can deny it until you are red(der) in the face, but the industry is dying.”

“Live exporter Elders is shutting down its long haul trade, and exports of both cattle and sheep are slipping,” he continues. “Your recent dismissal of the need for an animal-welfare office in your department shows that you are currently on the wrong side of history. If meat is murder, live export is the slow boat to hell.”

He concludes: “Please help pave the way towards a kinder future by putting the live-export industry out of its misery immediately.”

Morrissey completes his Australian tour in Newcastle, New South Wales tonight (October 31). Barnaby Joyce has shared his thoughts on Morrissey’s letter on Twitter, saying he isn’t “a big fan of The Smiths,” but is “a great fan” of the families that he claims are reliant on Australia’s animal live-export industry.