Letter: Slaughter at sea

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The Independent Online
Sir: The shocking news last week that 67,000 sheep were burnt or drowned at sea after a fire on the ship carrying them from Australia to the Middle East quite rightly caused outrage.

Live sheep exports from Australia commenced over 20 years ago and currently more than five million sheep are exported annually from Australia, mostly to the Middle East. On average, 120,000 animals will spend up to six weeks on board each carrier, confined in appalling conditions.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals, together with our Australian member organisations, has campaigned for a number of years to get this live transport stopped. Incidents such as this are not uncommon: this is the third live sheep carrier to sink following a fire and there have been many other cases of heavy losses due to starvation or suffocation.

ANDREW DICKSON

Chief Executive

World Society for the Protection of Animals

London SW8

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