We recently discovered that a livestock vessel with 5,000 cattle aboard, overturned while still at its loading pier, in Brazil. Due to depart for Venezuela, the ship started taking on water and eventually capsized next to the pier.
Onlookers took videos with their mobile phones, which show the horror the cattle endured in their final moments.
A preventable tragedy
Live transport is a cruel and unnecessary trade, causing suffering to millions of animals every year. The trade in live animals should be replaced by a trade in meat. But this tragedy is particularly tragic, as it was preventable.
Our research shows that the livestock vessel in question has been operating in EU waters this year, following routes from the EU to the Middle East and North Africa, amongst others.
What can be done to prevent this?
We urge authorities to ensure that live export vessels are fully functioning and equipped to take live animals on board.
This incident is so tragic because it could have been prevented. Given that the ship was still at port – why could they not attempt to unload the animals?
Help us to stop live exports; to prevent tragedies like this one in Brazil.
Campaigns Officer, Pru Elliott
Due to its serious nature, and the fact that onlookers were filming from the pier, this incident has been documented and serves as an example of the worst case scenario when transporting live animals. However, live transport disasters can and do occur at sea and the death of the animals aboard can go undocumented. The local port authority is expected to launch an investigation into this incident.
Join our #Cowontour
Starting tomorrow (Friday 9th October), we are taking a life-sized cow sculpture on tour around seven major cities in Europe to raise awareness of the plight of farm animals facing live export from the EU.
The cow is currently a blank canvas, waiting to have the signatures of EU citizens drawn all over her in a giant 3D petition. Join us in London for our #Cowontour protest.
After her London debut, our cow sculpture will then travel to Paris, The Hague, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Rome. At the end of the tour, she will be delivered to the European Commission with a simple message: stop live exports.