Thirteen thousand animals have now been stranded for two whole weeks. All these sheep and cows aboard the Ocean Outback have beenhanging in limbo with many starting to die, since engine problems on the vessel forced it to stay at the port in Henderson, Perth, Australia.Ocean Outback is the name of the ship carrying the live export. One of the ships that is part of the horrific live export industry. Every year, they send countless numbersof living animals thousands of miles across the sea to then be slaughtered and sold for their meat as soon as they arrive at their destinations.
The ship was meant to be sent to Israel before its engine difficulties forced it to become stranded just off a port in Perth.Let alone the stress of being in limbo, the sea conditions in the area are rough, and temperatures are soaring, all of which are hugely detrimentalfor the animals' welfare.Indeed, thirty sheep and three cows have already perished on the Ocean Outback while stranded.
Alan Schmidt,managing director of Otway Livestock Exports, said:[The company is] comfortable that we have got an outcome for the livestock that will mean that possibly some of the livestock will discharged and some will be exported.There was huge concern that the sheep would be sent to one of the nearest ports in South East Asia, where sheep are not wanted and would therefore meet a brutalend.At least the company that owns the ship recently announced thatthe 7,500 sheep were offloaded in Australia and transported to a pre-export quarantine feedlot. But what happens to them now, waiting before they are either sent to another country, or are slaughtered in their home country, is no better.
The remaining 5,500 cattle are now being shipped to south-east Asia to be supplied to a regular accredited buyer, but will they all survive these delays in those conditions for much longer? Rocky seas, sizzling temperatures, and standing in their own muck for over two weeks "is a wholly unacceptable situation", the RSPCA announced in a statement.What about when they do arrive at their destination?Recent investigations by Animals Australia showed that animals sent to Vietnam were being sledgehammered to death, and those sent to Israel were fully conscious when their their throats were slit.
This huge and upsetting failure has shed light on thedangers of shipping live animals to their deaths, a common practice in Australia.Local animal advocates gathered by the port to speak for the animals on board.It seems that the deaths of these animals onboard as well as all of their suffering is merely "business as usual" for the live export business.