About one quarter of the 200 live cattle on board a ship carrying livestock from Tasmania to Australia were killed or put down after sustaining serious injuries during the voyage.
Animals Australia is calling for a suspension of live animal shipments from Tasmania in the wake of one of the worst live shipping disasters in Australian history.
A ship loaded with more than 200 live cattle set sail from Tasmania in early February despite severe weather impacting the Bass Strait.
The animal rights organization says 56 animals, or more than a quarter of cattle on the shipment, died from injuries sustained on board or were subsequently killed by a government veterinarian upon arrival in Victoria, due to the seriousness of their injuries.
This is another appalling example of commercial interests being put ahead of the interests of animals. It is reckless and negligent in the extreme for this shipment to have taken to sea knowing that these cattle would face Bass Strait at its worst,” said Animals Australia’s Campaign Director Lyn White.
Animals Australia has demanded that the parties responsible for this shipment be prosecuted under Tasmanian animal cruelty legislation.
The distress and suffering of the cattle on this ship, being thrown around in rough seas on an open deck, is almost unimaginable. That their suffering was preventable makes it criminal.”
“Anyone who has watched the Sydney to Hobart yacht race would understand the dangerous, ever-changing conditions in the Bass Strait, and thus the exacerbated risks for live animals being transported through this passage.”
“There are very good reasons why animal welfare groups oppose the transport of animals by sea. All it takes is a couple of hours of rough weather to have an animal welfare disaster.”
The LD Shipping vessel, the Statesman, was traveling between Stanley in Tasmania and Port Welshpool in Victoria.
Thousands of cattle, sheep and pigs are routinely transported across Bass Strait every year.
Photo credit: Animals Australia