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Dear Friends,

Please share this page that others can be conscientised to the intolerable suffering of animals in the long distance transport to slaughter trade.


Activists in nearly 40 countries will participate in this, the world’s first Animals are not Freight Day as outrage grows against this multi-billion dollar trade.  


The date marks the 20th anniversary of the biggest live export disaster in history when 67 488 Australian sheep burned to death or drowned as the freighter carrying them to the Middle East caught fire in mid-Indian Ocean in 1996.


While 3-million sheep and cows are shipped from Australia for slaughter in the Middle East annually, 2 million farmed animals are exported from the EU annually.


South Africa has its own trans-Indian Ocean trade in live animals with thousands of cattle being shipped annually from East London to Mauritius and hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats are trucked thousands of miles into South Africa from Namibia every year. (At the moment the border is closed for disease control).


We are deluded if we think this trade is anything but SLAVERY on a scale the world has never seen before. 

We cannot imagine the torment of these animals but a navigator who cannot be named, has told us what it is like to be human on board these ships of shame and insanity.

“I worked on a livestock carrier for six months carrying animals from Australia to the Gulf.


“We carried 160 000 sheep on every trip plus about 700 cattle. A round trip to the Middle East and back to Australia took 6 weeks.


“The sheep were transported from farms and put into holding pens at Australian ports where they were introduced to pellet feeding as opposed to grass feeding. Once the sheep were eating pellets, they were loaded on board the carrier – about 50 sheep to a pen.


“Stocking density was such that about half the sheep could lie down and half could stand up at a time. Loading took two or three days and it took two weeks to travel from Australia to the Gulf.


“On an average journey, four or five sheep died a day and more if the temperatures got to be too high or too low. Sometimes 17 could be lost in a day. The first to go were the sheep which had not adjusted to pellet feeding. These starved to death. Next to die would be the ‘starve-outs’ – the smaller, more timid ones which were prevented from getting to the food by the stronger ones.


“The weak and highly stressed sheep died next. We had a machine on board called a mascerating machine. You put the dead sheep in at the top and the whole sheep came out as mincemeat which was discharged into the sea. Most carriers do not have these machines and simply throw the dead sheep overboard. Dung and urine becomes a huge problem. The smell of ammonia was sickening.


“Those six months were enough for me. There was one incident in particular which said to me that this was enough: we were coming up to the port of Damman in Saudi Arabia and the wind died down completely.


“Humidity went up to 99%. It was mid afternoon. They would not berth us till evening. We lost 2 500 sheep in 30 minutes from the humidity. They just collapsed. It was a nightmare. When we got alongside the quay, we couldn’t run the sheep onto the quay for more air because sheep won’t cross over a dead sheep’s body. We were down in the pens trying to get all the dead sheep to one side to get the live ones out. On the quay there were two consignees for the sheep and they started arguing because the one said the other was getting bigger sheep than he was – causing further delay. Four thousand sheep did not make it.


“And for what? Sometimes they are killed right there on the quay – especially in Iran.


“The baby lambs that have been born during the trip are highly prized by the sheiks who come onto the quay themselves to buy them.


“I think it is a trade that should be stopped.”

"They become seasick, slip in their own excrement and sometimes can't get up. They arrive mentally and physically broken. It is blatant abuse and we should all aim to stop it."   The Times Live

The liberation of animals from human oppression begins in our own hearts.

Monday 29th August - World Day for Animals are NOT Freight

Here is his story

Please write to the Director-General at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Mike Mlengana.

You could say:

Dear M Mlengana,

In the name of human decency, please put a stop to the transport of South Africa’s cattle from East London to Mauritius.

Their suffering is intolerable and demeans every one of us, as humans.

Animals are not freight.

The callous trade in animals is fueled by a disregard for suffering and an arrogant sense of entitlement over our fellow beings.

You can stop it! Please do so as a matter of urgency!