Heat stress is a horrendous way to die. The Australian sheep (like those pictured, from a previous investigation in Kuwait), would have struggled frantically for every last breath.
4,000 Australian sheep have died of severe heat stress within one day on a live export ship destined for the Middle East. TAKE ACTION below!
The mass deaths at sea in September last year constitute the worst live export shipping disaster in recent history.
The suffering of these animals is too horrific to even imagine. In soaring temperatures, the ship would have turned into an oven, with these thousands of individual sheep literally baking alive.
Tragically, it could have been prevented.
The sheep were loaded in Adelaide and Fremantle onto the Livestock Shipping Services vessel, the Bader III, last August. The three week journey to Qatar at that time of the year is always high risk -- with animals heading from an Australian winter into the heat of a Middle Eastern summer.
Even on a normal summer's day in the Middle East, the temperature can hover over 40 degrees placing animals at high risk and significantly compromising their welfare. It's understood that during this shipment, the temperature and humidity was even higher than usual -- making an animal welfare disaster inevitable.
It's almost impossible for anyone to imagine the horrors that these sheep endured. As heat stress takes hold, animals cannot eat or drink and eventually they may be too weak to even stand. Every breath is a struggle and these sheep would have fought frantically until ultimately succumbing to a terribly cruel death.
The risks of lengthy sea voyages for animals are well known with thousands dying on board each year -- from illness, heat stress, injury and starvation. To the live export industry, deaths at sea are a routine part of doing business.
For the 75,000 sheep on board the Bader III last year, their suffering and the ultimate deaths of 4,000 were considered a risk worth taking by an industry that has always put profit ahead of animals.
Inconceivably, it's 'business as usual' for the exporter responsible -- a company that is also currently under investigation for shocking live export breaches in Jordan and Gaza. Not only was LSS granted an export permit to send more sheep to the Middle East straight after this disaster, but last weekend they loaded tens of thousands of animals onto the same vessel in Fremantle -- in the middle of an extreme heat wave.
How can the government continue to put animals in the hands of a company that is still being investigated for serious breaches of welfare regulations?
Please email our political leaders urgently today.
Ask them: How can a company being investigated for ongoing live export breaches -- and that is already responsible for the deaths of 4,000 sheep at sea -- continue to export animals?