2,400 sheep

A scandal has broken out in Australia over the death of 2,400 sheep aboard a ship travelling from Fremantle in Western Australia to Doha, Qatar.

The sheep died from heat stress. A video show on the country’s ’60 Minutes’ TV programme showed sheep dying while dead carcases were being tossed over the side.

More than a million live sheep are exported from Australia each year, mostly from Western Australia. Live sheep exports are big business, worth more than $750 million a year.

Animals Australia, which obtained the video footage (a clip of which can be seen here) aired by 60 Minutes last Sunday, claim there have been 37 shipments involving these companies where more than 1000 sheep have died on each voyage, since 2005.

A vet says that the build-up of manure produces ammonia turning the pens in which the sheep are kept into a gas chamber.

Picture source: Bernard Spragg