Livestock deaths tip of the iceberg

THE human and animal deaths resulting from the sinking of live animal export ship, the Danny F11, are sadly the latest in a long line of disasters at sea for the international trade in live animals.

Live exporters’ claims over the weekend that the trade is safe for the animals involved are simply laughable, considering around 40,000 cattle, sheep and goats don’t survive the sea journey from Australia every year, say critics.

“The terrible drowning of the 28,000 cattle and sheep on the Danny F 11 highlights the inherent dangers in transporting live animals over such long distances, but the majority of deaths at sea are actually related to the stress of being transported,” said the RSPCA’s Melina Tensen.

“Every year tens of thousands of animals exported from Australia perish at sea from illness, disease or starvation. Livestock on these journeys can suffer through extreme temperatures, diseases such as pink eye, pneumonia, inanition (failure to eat) and injury.

“The RSPCA believes it’s nonsensical to send animals over such long distances overseas, just to be slaughtered. Often subjected to rough handling and transport in importing countries, Australian animals are then killed by having their throat cut while fully conscious.

“Livestock are subjected to this cruel trade despite our meat exports being nearly five times more valuable to the Australian economy than live animal exports. And despite the ongoing negative impact on Australian jobs, particularly meat processors.

“No amount of regulation will ever make the live animal trade safe or humane. Economic work recently commissioned by the RSPCA has revealed that there are alternatives that are better for animals, better for Australian jobs and better for the Australian economy.”

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