You read right. 13,000 animals are currently stranded in the middle of the sea. It has been at least 11 days and some of the animals are starting to perish.
The Ocean Outback is a livestock transport ship and it is filled with sheep and cows whose survival is no longer guaranteed. To make matters worse, the animals are slaughtered as soon as they reach their destination.
Due to engine issues, the animals are now trapped at a port in Henderson, Australia. Nine days into their encampment, at least a dozen sheep and two cows have already passed away, with more fatalities to come.
Each day that the animals remain stuck at the port is another day closer to death. For their part, the live export business seems nonplussed. The director of Livestock Exports has been quoted as saying “it’s two cattle” and that these situations are “to be expected”.
The ship, which was originally bound for Israel, is now awaiting government approval, so that it can alter its destination and head to South Asia instead.
But this case exposes some troubling facts about the live export industry. Animals Australia investigated the treatment of these animals and found that their throats were being slit while they were still conscious in Israel and that the animals who were being sent to Vietnam were put to death with sledgehammers.
At the current moment, it has not been made clear where the animals who are being exported to South Asia will be sent. The Facebook page for LiveExport: GlobalVoice4Animals is suspicious about the treatment of these animals and they reported that the ship traveled so far outside of its usual radius and there is reason to believe that they were attempting to conceal the death of additional cattle.
It is difficult to imagine the suffering that these animals are going through while stranded at sea. They are trapped in their own feces and filth and no animal deserves to live in this sort of squalor. Unfortunately, the live export business continues to thrive and many consider the death of animals to simply be the cost of doing business.
To many, the most frightening aspect of this story is that the business is even allowed to exist in the first place. While the government approval to move the vessel is expected to arrive within a few days, this fact is of little solace to the animals on board.
If you’d like to learn more about live exports and what you can do about it, click here!