Animals don’t belong here.

World-first footage: animals are suffering and being cooked alive on live export ships. Help shut down this illegal cruelty.

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For 60 years, cruelty to animals on live export ships has been kept secret

There’s no ‘nice’ way to send animals halfway around the world to be killed for meat.

A live sheep isn’t ‘cargo’. He breathes. He thinks. He can suffer. But it wasn’t lost on one concerned crew member who was horrified by the suffering he witnessed on live export voyages…

Over 5 routine shipments carrying sheep from Australia to the Middle East, he carried out his duties. But also, he filmed — risking everything to show the world a glimpse of what has been hidden and ‘accepted’ by this industry for decades.

On these enormous ships, sheep are packed so tightly that many can’t lie down to rest. Nor can they all access food and water. Overcrowded pens make identifying sick and injured animals near impossible.

None of this is legal. 

Add to this extreme heat, exhaustion, rough seas, poor ventilation and millions of litres of untreated waste, and a typical live export voyage quickly becomes the perfect storm for death and suffering. Over the years, more than 3 million Australian animals have died, often horrifically, on these death ships.


But evidence now shows that it is the ‘survivors’ who suffer worst of all. They face the same gruelling nightmare, only their suffering never ends.

The evidence also shows that the Australian Government cannot legally continue to grant export licenses under these conditions.

This footage exposes an industry acting unlawfully.  It reveals what millions of gentle animals have endured for decades,  in secret. And with it — a chance to end the cruelty.

A downer sheep in excrement on a live export ship Awassi Express

What animals endure on a typical live export ship in summer is unconscionable.

This exhausted Aussie sheep can no longer stand. He can only wait to die, smothered in a blanket of urine and faeces.

More than 100,000 litres of urine and faeces accumulates on a typical live export ship every day sheep are on board. The ship won’t be ‘washed out’ until after they’ve disembarked.

As the northern summer kicks in, on-board conditions can turn catastrophic.

When temperatures soar — and predictably they do —  weeks of untreated waste buildup ‘melts’ into a thick, deadly soup. Any animal needing to lie down to rest risks being buried in excrement.

Corrosive ammonia chokes the air and burns the eyes and throats of those on board. Distressed animals rapidly overheat. Their hearts race as they gasp for oxygen.

Trapped in what is essentially a ‘giant oven’, extremely heat-stressed animals collapse before literally being cooked alive. Other heat stressed sheep may die slowly over the following days. Those who survive a ‘heat event’ will continue to suffer in this putrid bog, now littered with the decaying bodies of their dead companions.

A days old lamb sitting on the dirty floor of live export ship Awassi Express

He won’t make it off the ship.

The littlest victims of the live export industry aren’t loaded onto ships … they are born on board. Distressed crew are routinely ordered to slit their throats.

Imagine being born on a live export ship. The noisy vibrations the only sound you’ll ever hear. The inescapable stench of faeces the only air you’ll ever breathe…

These babies aren’t supposed to be born at all. Live export companies are legally required to ensure all ewes are pregnancy tested by ultrasound and certified not pregnant.

And yet, heavily pregnant ewes are being shipped for slaughter like every other animal. Only — they’ll endure the trauma of live export while going into labour and giving birth.

Very few lambs born on a live export ship will ever see the outside world. Many will be trampled, lose their mothers, or be killed by distressed crew members who are routinely ordered to slit their throats. 

All this suffering is in aid of one thing: making wealthy live export companies even wealthier. And as it turns out, ‘business as usual’ on one of these ships to the Middle East isn’t just cruel, in many ways it’s illegal.

This new evidence renders the live sheep trade effectively illegal.

The law is pretty clear. What animals are routinely forced to endure on live export ships is not only cruel — it’s illegal…

If existing laws were upheld, live export as we know it today would end.

For the first time, authorities can now independently assess the actions of the live export trade at sea.

The Department of Agriculture is duty bound to stop the export of live animals if federal export laws are not upheld, or if travel arrangements are

inadequate for animal health and welfare.

New evidence reveals not only that the live export trade is breaking the law, but that animals are being denied their most basic needs — proper access to food, water, rest and veterinary care.

Sheep on truck
We don’t need legislators to outlaw the live sheep trade…
It’s already illegal.
Your voice can help get animals off these death ships — for good.
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Two cute little lambs headbutting each other, standing on green grass
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