A live animal is not a sack of potatoes. He breathes. He thinks. He can suffer. But to the live animal export trade his suffering is just a cost of doing business. Every day, right across the world, vulnerable animals are enduring dangerous journeys on trucks and on ships, just to be killed for their meat — often horrifically — at their destination.
An 8-month Animals International investigation has revealed a global animal welfare crisis that requires a global response.
By sea or by road, transport is unavoidably stressful and dangerous for animals.
Lengthy voyages can be a death sentence. Sheep risk a slow death from starvation, illness and injury. After weeks on ships, cows can emerge caked in so much excrement that they are barely recognisable. In some parts of the world it’s not unusual for the bodies of discarded, dead animals to wash up on local beaches.
Tragically, the only thing worse than these journeys for animals, is what will happen to them at their destination.
Panicked by unfamiliar sounds and smells, he had a bag placed over his head then with a chain around his leg, he was hung upside down to have his throat cut. Such brutal methods of slaughter are common in countries that have no laws in place to protect animals from extreme cruelty.
Our investigators have witnessed disoriented, terrified animals having their eyes stabbed and tendons slashed prior to slaughter. Such horrific scenes are common ‘disabling’ techniques in places where slaughter workers struggle with large, frightened animals. Live export companies send them anyway.
Sheep are often called the ‘silent’ victims of live export. Though they rarely cry out, their pain and suffering as their throats are cut is as profound and distressing as it is for any other animal. Most exported animals endure excruciating, fully conscious slaughter.
And it’s not just health experts. The United Nations has called for “a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products” in order to avoid global environmental devastation. But rich live export companies are pushing for the exact opposite — while subjecting animals to extreme cruelty.
No amount of profit can justify this.