Every year, Ireland exports thousands of young bulls to North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey – to be killed for their meat.
The sea journey is long and dangerous. Rough seas can cause seasickness and make it difficult for animals to stand properly. Injuries from slips and falls are common. The stressful and unfamiliar conditions on board ships can result in animals failing to eat (leading to starvation), eye infections, heat stress and pneumonia.
Live export ships are like floating factory farms in which animals are increasingly vulnerable to diseases. The thin layer of sawdust in pens quickly turns into a thick layer of faeces and urine – trapping moisture and spreading pathogens. Water tanks and fodder are easily contaminated.
High heat and humidity inside live export vessels can make it unbearable for the animals. Some won’t survive the journey.