Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are crammed onto ships and transported from farms to slaughterhouses in faraway countries. Known as “live export,” the practice has long been under fire around the world for its immense cruelty.
Our team in Brazil has launched a campaign against this horrific practice. From 2012 to 2020, Brazil exported 2.6 million live animals. On June 14—Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day—Mercy For Animals Brazil launched a powerful new video about live export. Narrated by actor and presenter Márcio Garcia, the video shows the terrible reality of animals exported alive to be killed in other countries.
Mercy For Animals Brazil also released a new investigative report in collaboration with the NGO Repórter Brasil. The document, written in Portuguese, connects the practice of exporting live cattle with illegal deforestation and slave labor.
Going hand in hand with the new video and report, a petition urges the approval of bill 357/2018. Currently being reviewed by the Environment Committee of the federal Senate, the bill proposes a ban in Brazil on the export of live animals for slaughter. It points to the extreme suffering farmed animals are subjected to in live export, as well as the harmful effects it has on the environment.
Two bills aimed at banning live export are also being considered in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Both are awaiting a vote in their respective legislatures.
Until live export is banned around the globe, animals will continue to suffer. In 2019, around 14,000 sheep died after a vessel en route from Romania to Saudi Arabia partially capsized. Rescuers could save only about 200 animals. And just last year, a ship carrying 43 crew members and nearly 6,000 cows capsized off the coast of Japan. Images of the catastrophe show at least a dozen dead cows floating in the water. In response, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries announced it would temporarily halt applications for live cattle export.
In April of this year, Egypt’s Suez Canal was blocked for nearly a week when a massive container ship got stuck in the passage. The blockage led to millions of tons of cargo piling up by the canal. Bloomberg reported that at least 14 vessels gathered near the closed canal were ships designed to transport live animals. Data indicates that these ships likely contained hundreds of thousands of farmed animals.
Last year, Mercy For Animals released an investigation exposing the horrors of live export. The footage reveals steers loaded onto ships with electric prods before traveling for weeks across the Atlantic Ocean. After an agonizing journey, animals are taken to a slaughterhouse where they are brutally killed. Footage shows workers cornering animals, slashing their legs, and stabbing them while fully conscious.
Together we can build a world of compassion for animals. Please stand up for animals by asking the Brazilian Senate to approve bill 357/2018.
Cover Photo Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / Eyes On Animals / We Animals Media