Live Export Cruelty
There are significant risks to the welfare of livestock caused by transporting them in ships, especially over long distances as confirmed in the 2013 scientific report, ‘The welfare of livestock transported by ship’:
“Animals are often exposed to high stocking densities, elevated temperature and ammonia concentration, as well as noise and changes in photoperiod and light intensity. Mortality rate is the main measure of welfare.”
Animals can suffer greatly during live export due to a number of these factors; high stocking densities can lead to animals, particularly sheep, being crushed or suffocated especially during feeding times or for those animals near a vent as others struggle to reach cooler air. High ammonia levels (from urine and faeces) can cause painful irritations and eye infections, and dust from the food pellets can cause respiratory problems.
Extreme climate changes also take their toll on animals and can lead to heat stress or pneumonia and ultimately increased mortality. Rough seas may cause animals to fall, resulting in lesions and broken bones. And it is not uncommon for sheep to starve to death, as they are unable to adapt to the change in diet from grass to pellets.