Category: Farm Animals

South African Sheep Face “Nightmare” Journey.



South African Sheep Face “Nightmare” Journey

By The Maritime Executive 2019-09-17 01:44:45

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As the livestock carrier, the Al Shuwaikh, heads for South Africa, local TV show Carte Blanche has investigated the nation’s emerging live export trade with Kuwait and the potential for what the presenter calls a “nightmare journey” for the 65,000 sheep being readied to sail.

The Carte Blanche TV show says: “Facing prolonged loading processes, poor ventilation, stifling heat and overcrowded quarters, some 65,000 sheep will soon be packed onto a mammoth livestock vessel due in the East London harbor later this month. The livestock will be transported for weeks on the high seas, standing in their own filth, with no space to even lie down. Amid methane gas and ammonia accumulating in the cargo hold, this controversial trade deal between South Africa and the Middle East will eventually see millions of our sheep sent abroad.”

The TV show notes the whistleblower footage released by in Australia in 2017 that focused on the Awassi Express but also included footage from the Al Shuwaikh. The Carte Blanche presenter said the footage was so disturbing that it was decided not to show it on the program. He interviews Australian Dr. Lynn Simpson, a former live export veterinarian who has sailed on the Al Shuwaikh and who has been raising the issue of poor welfare on live export ships since 2001. Simpson says when she saw the footage, she was just seeing her experience from 57 voyages repeated.

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The controversy surrounding the whistleblower footage continues in Australia – and an Australian Department of Agriculture observer report from a May 2018 voyage of the Al Shuwaikh revealed suffering and death as a result of the vessel’s design and management of livestock on board. The report indicated that for eight days sheep were open mouth breathing, indicating severe heat stress, as they “attempted to gain position around the ventilation vents on all open and closed decks.” Multiple instances of “death by smothering” occurred as a result of this. Heat stress was worsened by “oil fuel heaters being left on during the equator crossing” and poor ship design with “dark colored steel roof surface absorbing radiated heat from above.”

Additionally, the observer noted that water troughs were fouled with manure, particularly towards the end of the voyage when a skeleton crew were available to attend the livestock due to discharge preparations. There were significant welfare concerns during discharge, with the livestock, vocalizing loudly, left without fresh feed for over 30 hours. Moldy food was observed in the bottom of troughs for both sheep and cattle on numerous occasions. Dusty pellets were also observed, and on some decks this was largely attributed to the workings of the automated feeding system. The observer also noted that during rough weather a ballast tank overflowed into one of the sheep pens.

A Kuwaiti export company is apparently planning to export two consignments of around 70,000 sheep from South Africa to the Middle East this year, followed by 600,000 sheep, goats and cattle annually for the next three to five years.

Shatha Hamade from Animals Australia, says on the Carte Blanche program: “Every animal welfare organization on the planet opposes the live export trade by sea, and for good reason. The inherent suffering and risks in this trade are actually unavoidable.”

Regarding the export voyage planned for departure from South Africa later this month, she says: “I challenge the farmer that might be contracting with the Kuwaiti company, I challenge him to sit down and watch this [whistleblower] footage and talk to me and tell me that he thinks that it’s okay.”

France: Civil courage of animal rights activists



“The well-known pain in my chest is back, I can just walk, they can not.”
(Jo-Anne McArthur, photographer and animal welfare investigator)

Activists who exposed animal cruelty to the largest pig farm in France were TROUBLED.

What activists experience when they discover animal agony, you can see in the video!

This is how an activist describes the action in this slaughterhouse:

“The last days I hadn’t found any words for everything that happened, I tried several times to write this post and then deleted the lines again.

Five days ago I participated in the mass action of civil disobedience #OccupyCarrefour and we peacefully occupied one of the largest pig farms in France. Together with other activists i had my neck chained to the bars of the cages where the pigs are trapped, while other activists documented the terrible conditions to make it available to the public.

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We were subjected to the same violence as the animals are every day, we were pushed and beaten by the farmers and I was even hit in the face with an iron bar.

People who use violence against animals on a daily basis do not shy away from violence against humans. While i was chained at the same height as the pigs, I had to look into their eyes the whole time and could hear their screams. But I also had to look into the eyes of my friends – full of fear and grief.

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We had to experience what it’s like to be trapped there and were helplessly at the mercy of this violence just like the animals. The other activists tried to protect us with their bodies, but nobody protects the animals.

A young farmer even threatened to shoot us, there was so much hatred in the eyes of these people. We were lucky to be able to leave this cruel place alive again, but the animals are in captivity all their lives and are killed in the end.

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Imagine what it is like to be locked up in a small cage for the rest of your life, where you can’t even turn around. Imagine what it’s like when your babies are taken away shortly after birth and you never see them again. Imagine what it’s like when you can’t run away from violence, when you can’t even try to save your own life. The animals are born in this hell, they don’t see daylight or sunlight all their lives, they don’t get fresh air and they just vegetate until their day of execution. Humane agriculture or humane killing does not exist in reality.

Let us make conscious choices and end systematic exploitation.

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Such cruel conditions are even permitted by law and the police monopolize the use of force that is applied against the people who oppose this system. Police violence and repression thus affects the wrong people, who are free to denounce the bearer of a message instead of responding to the message itself and changing something. The consumption of dead animals and animal products is not only morally reprehensible, but also ecologically unacceptable as it contributes significantly to the climate – consuming huge amounts of water and energy.

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Next time you buy meat or animal products, think of her face. Think of their fate and the suffering they have experienced. Think of the life they could never live just because of your taste. In today’s society, eating meat is no longer a necessity, but a decision. A decision for violence, indifference, suffering and death. And a decision against compassion, love, respect and freedom. Is this really what we as human beings want to stand for?

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The only thing this industry fears so much is the truth and the truth is what we will reveal. Just because something is legal, does not mean it is also right. If there is a law to legitimize and legalize cruelty to animals, exploitation, oppression, discrimination and environmental destruction, then it is our moral duty to disregard these unjust laws.

When injustice becomes accepted, resistance becomes an obligation!

Please reconsider your decisions in the future, you have at least three choices a day. Do not apologize, do something! Become active and speak for the animals, they cannot speak for themselves”.

Direct Action Everywhere – DxE

There’s nothing to comment on, just a lot to think about, and it’s best to make your decision here and today to stop cooperating with this fascist system of exploitation.
This is the meat and milk industry.
It’s time to finish it.
We thank the brave activists very much for their civil courage.

My best regards to all, Venus

Remember the ‘Al Shuwaikh’ and the Romanian Sheep ? -Now It Is Trying To Take SA Sheep. Read the Latest From Animals Australia and the RSPCA.



WAV Comment – remember we recently covered the entire shipment of the ‘Al Shuwaikh’ when it was transporting 70,000 live sheep from Romania to Kuwait and Iran – well now it is setting its sights on live exports from South Africa – read more below.


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From Animals Australia:

The Kuwaiti company responsible for Aussie sheep ‘cooking alive’ at sea is trying to gain a foothold in South Africa.

Little did they know, we were already there waiting for them.

On Sunday night, their hopes of loading South African sheep onto the notorious Al Shuwaikh without any scrutiny or opposition were fully shattered when the country’s premier current affairs TV program, Carte Blanche, aired an unforgettable ’60 Minutes’ style segment as to why South Africa should not export live sheep.

Please take a moment to see how our efforts to protect animals from the live export industry are going global: WATCH NOW!


Along with former live export veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson, I was interviewed for the program. Caring South Africans are now venting their outrage that this company — having been stopped from getting Australian sheep during the Middle Eastern summer — has turned its sights on South Africa.

The Al Shuwaikh is currently sitting off the South African coast hoping to wait-out the public furore created by the Carte Blanche program. We are teaming up with local animal protection group, the NSPCA, to lobby the South African government to not allow this shipment.

The NSPCA would love Animals Australia supporters to band together with caring South Africans to call on their government to say ‘no’ to live sheep export. You can sign their petition here: 

When I landed in Johannesburg to be interviewed for Carte Blanche, it was impossible not to reflect on the enormity of our efforts to bring an end to the global live export trade and the different continents it has taken us to.

Little by little, these powerful export companies are realising that their industry is now being held accountable globally due to the efforts of a relatively small animal charity from ‘down under’ and our band of compassionate and generous supporters.

Achieving this unprecedented exposé on South Africa’s highest-rating current affairs TV programme would not have been possible without our investigations, and without your support. As an investigator and an advocate, I send you a heartfelt thank you.

For the animals,

Shatha Hamade
Legal Counsel – Animals Australia.




From the RSPCA Australia:

Mark, we know how strongly you feel about ending the cruelty of live animal exports.

So we wanted to update you on some recent developments in the trade.

Despite the clear evidence that suffering is inevitable, live sheep exports resume

After a moratorium was placed on live sheep exports from June to 22 September, exports are due to resume this week. This is despite the overwhelming evidence that heat stress is unavoidable for the entirety of the high risk May to October period.

We will be watching this space closely, and are continuing to call for the Department of Agriculture to heed the evidence and protect sheep from suffering by ending this trading period.

What is the Department of Agriculture trying to hide?

Late August, the RSPCA was advised that the Department of Agriculture would refuse to release video footage from live sheep export journeys to the Middle East (footage we requested under the Freedom of Information Act).

On the day the footage was due to be released, we instead received a letter from the Department stating that the footage could not be released, because it could result in adverse criticism of the live animal export industry as a whole and be used by those who are opposed to the industry to lobby for the banning of the trade.

It’s extraordinary. How bad must this footage be (captured under the watch of the government observer), if the Department is concerned it could be used to advocate for an end to the trade altogether?

If the footage is so risky to the future of live export, it’s even more important that we see it.

We’ll continue to challenge this decision, and bring you updates.

Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports Bill passes Parliament

In good news this week, the Bill to establish an Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports has passed through Parliament, meaning greater oversight and accountability for the live export trade.

The establishment of an independent Inspector-General to oversee the Department of Agriculture’s regulation of live export was a key recommendation of the 2018 Moss Review.

The Moss Review found that the Department’s focus on trade facilitation negatively impacted its culture as a regulator of animal welfare.

As long as the regulation of animal welfare falls to the Department of Agriculture, the need for strong oversight by the Inspector-General will remain.

More evidence of cruelty to Australian cattle in live export

Sadly last week, we also saw more horrific footage coming out of Indonesia, showing Australian cattle suffering shocking slaughter conditions after they were ‘leaked’ outside the approved supply chain.

Once again, we have evidence of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) failing to protect Australian livestock.

The RSPCA is urgently calling for a review into the ESCAS, and will be watching developments on this issue closely.

We will keep bringing you updates, and letting you know how you can help end the suffering in live exports. Thank you for your support.


Dr Jed Goodfellow
RSPCA Australia









Greece: Petition – SIGN: Stop Chaining Animals’ Heads and Legs Together for Cruel ‘Hobbling’.



SIGN: Stop Chaining Animals’ Heads and Legs Together for Cruel ‘Hobbling’


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Petition Link:

PETITION TARGET: Mayor of Paros, Markos Koveos


SIGN: Stop Chaining Animals’ Heads and Legs Together for Cruel ‘Hobbling’

In the Greek Island of Paros, locals tie animals’ legs to their heads to disable them from walking in an incredibly cruel process called hobbling. The ropes and chains cut into the helpless animals’ skin, creating wounds that become painfully infected. The animals are so desperate to escape, they often break their bones trying to get free.

Hobbled donkeys, cows, and sheep are kept in areas without shelter or water, left to suffer in the baking sun or freezing cold. This often leads to an agonizing death.

Hobbling is illegal in Greece, but still prevalent. A Lady Freethinker eyewitness described seeing the shocking practice firsthand, along with further cruelty to animals in Paros.

“Dogs with heavy metal chains around their necks, burning in the sun, with no water available, nowhere to hide from the heat and sun or from bad weather. Stray cats, sick, living in garbage, being driven over often on purpose by locals,” reports the eyewitness.

The witness saw locals drowning newborn animals and poisoning stray cats, along with a general lack of animal welfare enforcement on the island.

It’s time to stop the suffering.

Sign this petition urging Mayor Koveos to enforce the law and end all hobbling, and work to drastically improve the way all animals are treated in Paros.

1.5 million votes for “end the cage age”: what’s next?




Surely most of you have signed the petition “End the Cage Age”.
For non-EU citizens and readers: This European Citizens’ Initiative aims to end the use of cages in EU agriculture by calling on the European Commission to consider new legislation in this area.

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With 1 million signatures alone, the European Commission would be asked to propose legislation prohibiting the use of:

• Cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, chickens for fattening, laying hens, quails, ducks and geese;
• farrowing crates for sows;
• Sections, if not already prohibited;
• Individual calf pens, if not already prohibited.

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The petition ended with a great result: instead of the one million needed, over 1.5 million people signed the European Citizens’ Initiative against livestock caging. Now the European Commission has to deal with that: what’s next?

The collected signatures are checked first. Subsequently, the citizens’ initiative will be submitted to the European Commission. The Commission must then deal with the demands to abolish cages.

In addition, the initiators of the petition will be invited to a public hearing in the European Parliament.

This does not mean, however, that the caging ban automatically comes. Although the European Citizens’ Initiative fulfills all the criteria, the European Commission has the choice: it can accept the proposals of the initiative, change them or do nothing.

The last seems to me the most likely.
Not because I am a pessimistic person or because I have seen so much bad in my long-standing fight for the rights of animals and expect nothing positive.
But, from experience.

Because the 8hours campaign of 2013, with the requirement of 1.2 million people to limit animal transports to 8 hours, never came true. The animal transports became even worse, the controls weaker, the times longer, the victims more.
Instead of realistic improvements by the EU Commission for more humane animal transports, we got animated films with instructions on how have to be transported the animals. And blood still flows from the trucks to the streets and the ships.


Irresponsible, unethical, unprofessional has the EU Commission reacted.

On September 12, 2019, we read on the official website of Eurogroups for Animals:
“With the largest European petition ever for farm animal welfare ending at 23:59 last night, today is one of the most significant days for farm animals….

…With more than 1.5 million signatures so far, End the Cage Age’s success should be more than enough to persuade the European Commission to start the legislative procedure to end the use of cages for farm animals across the continent.

…“Today we have crossed the finish line in the biggest political push in farm animal welfare history. But the fight to get animals out of cages isn’t over yet,” says Reineke Hameleers. “Now it’s time for the Commission to make the changes that the citizens demand and bring us closer to the day when cages are relegated to the history books.” (

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Eurogroup and all those who render their services to the European Community for high salaries, all these must now mobilize theirselves strategically and actively so that the 1.5 million will not become bankrupt again, as they did then.

Now diplomacy, media work and commitment is announced.

If they really want to experience the day, like other 1.5 million citizens too, that “the cages are banned to the history books”, they must do everything so that the commission decides against the cages. Without compromise and consideration.
They are the ones who work closely and confidently with the commissioners, and that is why they know best that their bosses are the strongest agrarian lobyists, who not only allow painful mass animal husbandry, but demand and protect it by law.

Therefore, the question arises, what will they do if the European Commission does nothing?
In that case, we would demand of them that they give up their jobs, they leave that mendacious institution and, like us, fight on the streets for the abolition of the cages.
This is an effective and honest job.

My best regards to all, Venus

NZ: “Motherhood Led Me to Quit Dairy Farming”. But What if You Had Not Become A Mother ?



From Stacey – 


WAV Comment – I personally am finding it difficult to accept some of what is being said by the ex dairy farmer here in relation to her change – “Mothers who gave birth during snow or storms had their babies taken immediately and didn’t even get to clean them first”. “It is not uncommon for day-old babies to have the tube incorrectly forced into their lungs and drown in colostrum within a minute or so, with colostrum pouring back out their noses. When this happens, there are many more fearful and crying babies lined up behind these, so the dead baby is thrown onto a pile of other dead ones as you don’t have time to do anything else but keep working on automatic pilot”.

So it was only when you personally had your first child you related to the mother cow having hers taken away within 24 hours ? – and what I ask, if you had gone on to not have any kids ? – would you still be a dairy farmer finding it acceptable that baby calves are torn away from their mothers almost immediately by your industry ? – am finding it really hard to accept what the ‘animal activist’ goes on about – with the tears and all that. For me, any real activist would surely have been aware (in advance) of the real horrors of the dairy industry beforehand and completely refused to get involved with it. I find it most sad that we have to wait for the birth of a human baby for this ‘activist’ to find out what the dairy industry is about. And most importantly; where would she be now if she had never become a mother ? – PS: what is husband partner doing now ? – still working at this facility stealing baby calves away from their mothers; or has he changed track also ? – we are not told in the video – I do respect her for her change of policy after the birth of her baby; but find it hard to accept that she was not educated enough at the start to know about what this industry is about; male calves being taken away within hours of birth; or shot in the head at birth when people like her partner find out that the cow has given birth to a male. Mark.


The following is Jess Strathdee’s first person account of her years spent working on a dairy farm, and what motivated her to finally leave the industry forever. 

In February 2013, my partner and I moved to live and work on a West Canterbury, New Zealand dairy farm with a 600 head herd. My partner was the second in command on the farm, and I was employed as a relief milker and calf-rearer while starting my studies with Massey University via correspondence.

When I first started milking that year, it was getting to the last months of the season, before the cows were dried off for the winter. They didn’t have a great volume of milk at that time, and the milking would generally only take an easy 2.5 to 3 hours. I remember feeling a sense of pride, solidarity and sisterhood with the cows, honoured that I was privileged to handle such a private area and process of their bodies. Except, of course, on dairy farms nothing about an animal’s body or reproductive process is respected as private or belonging to them.

…the dead baby is thrown onto a pile of other dead ones as you don’t have time to do anything else but keep working on automatic pilot.

Oh God, what I numbed myself to.


The Babies

Then calving started. I knew, logically, that cows need babies to produce milk, but I’d never really thought about the fact that those babies are almost immediately taken away from their mothers. On my first morning, I stood in the freezing pens with tiny babies who looked absolutely shattered; still wet with afterbirth, bloody umbilical cords dangling. Mothers who gave birth during snow or storms had their babies taken immediately and didn’t even get to clean them first.

The tiniest babies are tube fed, which involves a tube being shoved down their throats and into their tiny stomachs, and a litre of colostrum poured in. This is traumatizing to watch, and I can’t even imagine how it must feel. Their poor, tiny, soft mouths and throats that should just be suckling small amounts from their mothers while their systems are learning to work, must be so sore from the tubing.

It is not uncommon for day-old babies to have the tube incorrectly forced into their lungs and drown in colostrum within a minute or so, with colostrum pouring back out their noses. When this happens, there are many more fearful and crying babies lined up behind these, so the dead baby is thrown onto a pile of other dead ones as you don’t have time to do anything else but keep working on automatic pilot.

Oh God, what I numbed myself to…

Please read the rest HERE

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15/9 – WAV Letter to MEPs Re Romanian Sheep and Box Trailers. Nothing From Anyone – So We Write Again !



We wrote to ‘our’ reps at the EP Parliament recently, asking what the EU is doing about live Romanian sheep being exported to the Middle East in temperatures way exceeding EU Reg 1/2005 on the protection of animals in transport, and also about the use of ‘box’ trailers to carry livestock in the EU.


Here is the link to that article; which involves a copy of our letter as well as a report associated with the box trailer issue:

At the time of writing this, 15/9; we have not even had any acknowledgement to our issues from ANY of the MEPs who are allegedly representing us. So also today, we have sent yet another e mail to them all asking for a response or acknowledgement in the very least.

Or, does this show the true face of the EU ? – people allegedly representing us in Parliament who do not even bother to contact us on issues ? – for which they are paid:

For that money, at least you would expect an acknowledgement of your letter; if nothing else.

In our letter of today we have at least asked for the basics; if these are not even met then we will be doing another post in the near future providing you, our supporters and visitors, with updated information.

Please watch in the near future.