Imagine what it’s like roasting to death
An Animal Rights Article from

By: Jenny Moxham

Published in: The Advertiser - 23 Jan 2014 and submitted to us by the author.

AFTER recently enduring five days of blistering heat all South Australians have fresh recollections of how unpleasant extreme temperatures are.

Fortunately most would’ve been able to get some relief by switching on air conditioners at home or in cars, visiting cooled buildings, and sitting in cold baths or a pool.

But can you imagine how you’d feel if it got hotter and hotter – and there was no way for you to cool down?

Can you imagine the terror of being trapped inside a small, cramped pen – with only inches of head space – in the bowels of a ship where the temperature was steadily rising higher and higher? Can you imagine roasting to death?

sheep live export

sheep live export

Well, in The Advertiser (17/1/14) it was revealed that this occurred last September when 3256 South Australian sheep, along with 923 sheep from Western Australia, died of the heat on board the Bader III livestock carrier bound for the United Arab Emirates.

The suffering these sheep would’ve endured before they died cannot even be imagined.

As heat stress took hold, every breath would have been a struggle and the sheep would have fought frantically to survive. This tragedy should never have occurred. On this particular day, it would appear, the temperature and humidity was even higher than usual.

Incredibly, this same ship was, on January 10, loading sheep in sizzling 43C in Perth.

Live export transportation, at the best of times, results in the deaths of thousands of animals each year from illness, heat stress, injury and starvation but increasingly (mainly due to investigations by Animals Australia) we are hearing about “incidents” that involve even greater suffering or cruelty.

The most infamous of these was probably the Cormo Express disaster. On August 20, 2003 Saudi Arabia rejected a shipment of 57,000 Australian sheep on alleged disease grounds (scabby mouth).

The pitiful sheep languished at sea for 79 days. They had only four inches of head space and by the end of the three months they were almost waist deep in excrement.

Above them were more sheep and the urine from the animals above rained down constantly on those below.

Almost 6000 sheep perished on this voyage before the Howard government paid $10 million of taxpayers’ money to Eritrea along with 3000 tonnes of fodder (worth an additional $1 million), to take the remaining animals aboard the Cormo Express. Clearly, Australian citizens and voters need to decide whether this trade, so fraught with pain, suffering and “incidents” – should be allowed to continue.

I say it needs to end before we have any more tragedies.


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