On June 12, more than 15,000 sheep reportedly drowned after a severely crowded ship carrying them from Sudan to Saudi Arabia capsized in a Red Sea port. Terrified and confined for days in cramped, filthy conditions, they never should have been there in the first place.
See Video: 15,000 Sheep Drown in Red Sea
According to reports, only some 700 sheep were removed from the ship alive. They appeared ill and weren’t expected to survive much longer. Local officials also noted that the corpses of animals still trapped underwater would likely have a negative environmental impact on the port area.
This isn’t the first time thousands of animals have endured nightmarish deaths at sea—drowning in similar shipwreck disasters or dying en masse from dehydration or disease. And unless the live-export industry is banned, it won’t be the last.
Animals raised for their flesh, hair, or skin already suffer tremendously. The least we can do is spare them the unnecessary trauma of a dangerous and grueling journey overseas before they’re killed.
You Can Help End Live-Animal Export Around the World
Every year, Australia exports millions of live cows and sheep on hellish journeys to Asia and the Middle East, forcing them to endure an arduous trip across thousands of miles—sometimes in searing heat—that may take weeks. More than 200 million animals have been crammed onto cargo ships over the last 30 years, and more than 2.5 million of them have been trampled to death or have died of dehydration, starvation, or disease.