Janice Cox | 11.11.2003 16:05 | Animal Liberation
sheep unloaded from the ill-fated livestock ship the Cormo Express.
After spending almost 3 months at sea, unable to find a port to take them, the ship
finally docked in Eritrea. Observers from CIWF witnessed the arrival of the sheep.
Official mortality figures report that 5,691 sheep died (9.8% of the total loaded).
The sheep were unloaded from the ship to a compound near a slaughterhouse in Asmara.
The compound had inadequate feed and water for the massive number of sheep leaving
fears that many sheep would perish before being slaughtered. At the small
slaughterhouse the sheep would be slaughtered - over a lengthy period of time - by
having their throats cut.
"We were able to see some carcasses which had their throats cut but the heads were
still attached to the bodies. There was definitely no evidence of pre-stunning"
Joyce D'Silva, CIWF's Chief Executive says: "This tragic saga is a tale of
ruthlessness and deceit. The livestock industry and the Australian Government
contended that the welfare of these sheep was a priority, but delivered them to a
country where there is no humane slaughter (and without bringing their own team and
stunning equipment). This is an international disgrace.
"Furthermore, Livecorp, the industry body that the government protects so zealously,
reports in its news release of 27 October that the loading was 'going smoothly',
with the sheep 'running and jumping as sheep do', yet our observers saw many limping
at the Ghathelal holding facility. Judging from these recent observations, calling
this 'spin' is too charitable. The industry is clearly fighting for the survival of
the trade, backed by their allies, the Australian government, but CIWF and the
international animal protection movement will do everything in their power to bring
the barbaric and anachronistic live export trade to an end."