An Australian live-export ship carrying thousands of sheep and cattle had to return to Australia due to the escalating conflict and danger in the Red Sea. The ship, named “MV Bahijah,” was headed for Jordan, but it was forced to turn back after weeks at sea. Despite their awareness of the conflict zone, the federal department of agriculture approved the export permit.
Australia’s live-export industry is concerning, as it prioritizes profit over the safety of animals. The animals on the MV Bahijah have already suffered prolonged stress and misery. Now they face an extended period at sea and uncertainty upon their return to Australia, as neither the government nor the industry has offered assurances that more animals will not be shipped to the region.
Animals destined for live export endure a harrowing journey that starts long before they are loaded onto ships. They are usually transported from farms to feedlots and then onto ships—for weeks the victims of extreme cruelty. Once on board, they are often confined in pens for long periods, facing the dangers of heat stress, illness, and injuries at sea. Tragically, many animals may die, while thousands suffer throughout the journey. No relief awaits them, as survivors are subjected to further trauma in importing countries before being slaughtered.
Millions of animals suffer and die every year through live export. We can strive toward a more compassionate world by recognizing the value of all living beings and advocating for change. Choosing not to eat animal products is the most effective way to prevent animal suffering. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these documentaries that provide a glimpse into the harsh reality of industrial animal agriculture. And if you’re considering a plant-based lifestyle, our How to Eat Veg guide can help you get started.