Speak Out Against Cruel Live Export – Save Irish Cows From Voyage of Despair
After 19 years, Ireland has just resumed its live-export trade with Libya – a decision that condemns thousands of animals to immense suffering and represents a major step backwards for Irish agriculture.
On the night of 19 February, almost 3,000 cows were loaded onto the Al Mahmoud Express and dispatched on a long and terrifying voyage to Libya, where they faced a cruel and painful death. After enduring 10 days of misery aboard the severely crowded ship, the animals were killed in North African slaughterhouses, which often handle animals with a barbarity that would be illegal in the European Union.
Cows are intelligent animals with diverse personalities. They can remember faces, and they mourn the loss of their friends and loved ones. There is no way that the Irish government can guarantee that even minimum welfare standards are met once the animals leave Irish soil. Undercover investigators in the Middle East have documented that abattoir workers literally dragged cows and sheep to their deaths, slashed the tendons on their legs, poked or stabbed them in the eyes and killed them with blunt knives without stunning them first.
Sadly, this is likely to be the first of many live-animal trades between Ireland and Libya – unless we take action now to prevent any more animals from experiencing a similarly horrific fate. Please ask the Irish Agriculture Minister to put a stop to any further live-export shipments.
Image: Jo Anne McArthur / We Animals
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