A Live-Export Ship Is up for Sale, and PETA Wants to Turn It Into a Memorial

Posted on by Laura Weyman-Jones

After hearing that the disgraced live-export operator Wellard Ships is selling the MV Ocean Drover, a ship used to transport live animals, PETA has written to the company with a suggestion for how it could instead put the vessel to good use to help animals: remove it from the market and turn it into a memorial to all the animals who suffered and died on board.

Animals Australia’s latest heartbreaking exposé of the live-export trade shows the horrifying conditions endured by sheep sent from Australia to the Middle East. The scenes filmed on these voyages aren’t exceptional in the industry – they’re the norm.

More than 200 million animals have been crammed onto filthy cargo ships to make this journey over the last 30 years, and over 2.5 million of them have been trampled to death or died from dehydration, starvation, or disease.

For those who survive the trip, the suffering doesn’t end there. There are virtually no laws in place in the Middle East to protect these animals, so they’re often subjected to abuse and methods of slaughter that would be illegal in this country.

Investigators have seen animals being roughly dragged from ships, sometimes by the legs. Many animals are thrown into trucks or cars, and their throats are typically cut with blunt or otherwise ineffective knives – while they’re still conscious.

The live-export industry has proved time and again that transporting animals thousands of kilometres through all weather extremes can never be humane.

One day, all of Australia will look back on this abhorrent treatment of animals with shame – and in the meantime, a memorial ship would serve as a reminder that an end to this barbaric trade can’t come soon enough.

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