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With the stranding of the Ocean Drover and the Al Shuwaikh we are again reminded of the inherent risks of the unnecessary live export trade, said RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil.

“More than 20,000 sheep, having already endured a month long journey from Australia, are now dealing with temperatures in the Middle East of close to 40 degrees.

“We know that sheep die on every ship that leaves Australia. They die from failing to eat, from illness and injury and particularly at this time of year, they succumb to heat stress.

“We do not want to see a repeat of the Cormo Express on which nearly 6,000 sheep died while waiting to be unloaded in the Middle East.

“The live export trade is inherently cruel. As if these animals had not already endured enough, we know that regardless of where these animals end up the vast majority of these sheep will be slaughtered while fully conscious.

“No assurance scheme can fully safeguard the welfare of animals exported live for slaughter. Live export is a senseless trade – from both an economic as well as an animal welfare perspective – and planning for a future without it is in the best interest of a sustainable livestock industry in this country.”

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