Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Archives

In Grueling Journey, 53,000 Live Animals Shipped from New Zealand to Mexico

June 26, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

A ship containing approximately 50,000 sheep and 3,000 cattle that departed from New Zealand on June 11th arrived in Mexico on June 26th after 16 days at sea. It is the single largest shipment of live animals ever exported from New Zealand.

Sheep are held in pens in New Zealand prior to being loaded onto transport ship (photo: John Bisset/Fairfax NZ)

Sheep are held in pens in New Zealand prior to being loaded onto transport ship (photo: John Bisset/Fairfax NZ)

53,000 live animals were shipped from New Zealand to Mexico on the NADA

53,000 live animals were shipped from New Zealand to Mexico on the NADA

Given the long duration of the overseas journey, animal rights activists in New Zealand and Australia have expressed grave concerns about the welfare of the animals, who can suffer from malnutrition, starvation, heatstroke, respiratory disease, blindness from seawater spray and stress from 16 days of intensive confinement. Unloading 50,000 sheep, who are reportedly pregnant, and 3,000 cattle is expected to take several more days.

live-export-sheep copy

Unloading sheep from a live transport ship

Once on the ground, the animals will be loaded onto trucks and/or trains and transported for an additional 10-15 hours, according to advocates. The temperature in Mazatlan, the port where the cattle and pregnant sheep are being unloaded, is approximately 90°F (32° C), reaching up to 120°F (49° C) with the heat index.

These trailers in Mazatlan, Mexico, are transferring the animals to their final destinations

These trailers in Mazatlan, Mexico, are transferring the animals to their final destinations

According to Animals Australia, which has conducted over 35 live export investigations, millions of animals have died during these voyages. In an interview with TV3 in New Zealand, Hans Kriek, the Executive Director of Save Animals From Exploitation in New Zealand said, “We understand that some animals have already died, but we have no idea about the numbers.”

In the live export industry, dead and dying animals are dumped overboard

In the live export industry, dead and dying animals are dumped overboard. This cow washed up on shore.  (photo: Against Live Transports)

Mr. Kriek and other activists have been communicating with the advocacy groups in Mexico about documenting the arrival of ship and unloading of the animals. “I imagine the locals may be able to smell the ship before they can see it,” said another advocate who contacted TheirTurn about the shipment.

The ship NADA has transported 5,300 live animals from NZ to Mexico (photo:

NADA transported 53,000 live animals from NZ to Mexico (photo: Mitchell Bransgove/Fairfax NZ)

The company exporting the animals, Livestock and Agricultural Products New Zealand, insists the 53,000 animals are treated humanely, noting that the ship is staffed with a Mexican veterinarian and three experienced stockmen. In an interview with a meat industry trade journal, a company spokesman said that deckhands clean the cattle manure once every three days. The sheep, on the other hand, live in their own feces for the entire journey.

Live cattle on a typical transport live

Live cattle on a typical transport live

The government says that the animals shipped to Mexico will be used for breeding. Activists, however, are skeptical, as animals were reported to have been killed upon arrival during the last live export shipment to Mexico in 2007, when the government gave the same assurance.

Your Turn

Please join the campaign to ban live exports from New Zealand and Australia.


Filed under: Food
Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Israeli Activists Use Street Theater to Shine Spotlight on Hidden Abuse

October 20, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Using provocative street theater, a determined group of Israeli activists is attempting to shut down one of the world’s most extreme, but under the radar, forms of animal abuse: live transports. According to the activist group, Against Live Transports, about 200,000 sheep and cattle are shipped each year from Australia to Israel. The entire 7,600 mile journey is treacherous, but the activists are calling attention to the one part for which they have the most documentation – the unloading of the animals.

live-export-ship

The ships hold up to 30,000 live animals

Photo: Against Live Transport

Photo: Against Live Transports

Usually in the dark of night to avoid public exposure, workers force frantic cows and sheep, who are weak from the long journey, down the ramps by kicking, punching and electrically prodding them.

Photo: Against Live Trasports

Photo: Against Live Transports

Israeli activists as animals

Photo: Against Live Transports

The activists’ efforts are having an impact. A local TV station aired a story not only about the unloading of the animals but also about the treacherous aftermath, when they are abused on farms before being slaughtered.

In addition to engaging in street theater, Against Animal Transports is “working on many other avenues, legal and political” to end the Australian exports. On those efforts, the group is collaborating with Let the Animals Live and Anonymous For Animal Rights.

Your Turn

Please sign the Change.org petition to end all live shipments to Eilat, a tourist city in Israel.


Filed under: Food
Tagged with: , , , ,