Live Export: Death Ships

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Animals can think. They can feel. They can suffer. But to the live animal export trade, their suffering is just a cost of doing business.

Every day, right across the world, vulnerable animals are enduring dangerous journeys on live export ships, with live exporters putting the animals’ welfare and lives at risk.

Now, for the first time in Australia’s controversial live export trade’s history, shocking new footage has been released of horrific conditions on board the shipments themselves.

More than 4,000 sheep died in five routine shipments aboard the Awassi Express headed to Gulf countries. The footage, filmed by a courageous trainee navigation officer and released by Animals Australia, shows sheep dying, many covered in excrement, amongst others who had already died. Pregnant ewes had given birth in appalling conditions, with their lambs dying.

Vessel records show that the water temperature was 41 degrees Celsius during one shipment, which together with high air temperatures and radiant heat from the vessel’s engines, all create an oven-like environment which can cause the sheep trapped in the hold to cook alive.

Live export is cruel and unnecessary.

Although the export of live animals for slaughter has been banned in New Zealand since 2003, live export for breeding has continued. These animals are ultimately killed in the country of destination, potentially by methods too cruel to be allowed in New Zealand. Many will likely suffer the same welfare issues on board shipments.

We’re supporting our friends at Animals Australia who have been working tirelessly for decades to expose the severe threat to animal welfare from live export and end this.

Please join SAFE in urging both New Zealand and Australian Governments to take action to protect animal welfare across Australasia, and commit to ending all live export of farmed animals.

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