The carriage of live animals around the world is performed by specialist vessels, designed (or adapted) to transport large numbers of cattle and sheep in secure but humane conditions. The trade is largely from Australia to the Middle East &/or S.E. Asia. One modern vessel may carry up to 125,000 sheep.
This transport of live animals requires experienced and specialised operators. The dangers of disease, rejection, injury and death to and from the animals is particularly high, coupled with the current activities of animal rights activists. When a livestock carrier has a fire or sinks, the loss of life of the animals can be appalling. Remember, sheep and cattle can't swim and they are not very good, when it comes to Lifeboat Drills !!!
Below are some examples of the perils associated with livestock carriage, for which I am grateful to Phil Grieve's lecture at the IUMI Conference on Singapore.
The "UNICEB", which caught fire and sank in 1996. 67,000 sheep were killed. -
The "GUERNSEY EXPRESS", which sank in 1996. 1,592 cattle were killed. -
The "TEMBURONG", Failure of the ventilation equipment in 1999. 829 cattle died.
The "BECRUX", in 2002 while en route to the Middle East. 880 cattle died.
In 2003, Australia exported over 4,500,000 sheep and nearly 800,000 cattle. In the hot temperatures that these vessel have to sail in, it is wise NOT to be down-wind of them !!!!
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