Ship carrying 19,000 cows in cramped spaces arrives from Brazil in Iraq (VIDEO)

Ship carrying 19,000 cows in cramped spaces arrives from Brazil in Iraq
Cow covered in dirt, cramped together, Umm Qasr port, Basra, Iraq March 6, 2024, credit: Reuters/Essam al-Sudani

A ship carrying 19,000 cows in cramped spaces arrived from Brazil in Iraq on Wednesday. The animals have been at sea for 41 days. Video footage showed the animals covered in filth.

The live animal carrier Al Kuwait stopped in South Africa two weeks ago, where an inspection revealed three deceased cows. Additional animals had to be euthanized, and many were found covered in feces.

In April 2023, a Brazilian court banned the export of live animals, yet the trade has continued to grow in the country.

Turkey and Iraq are the largest importers of live animals from Brazil, with Oman recently added to the list of countries to which Brazil transports live animals.

Live Animal Trade

Animal welfare organizations have long advocated for the end of overseas live animal trade. Monitoring their welfare during these voyages is nearly impossible.

The suffering of animals on these ships is profound. Confined in overcrowded conditions without adequate space, the animals endure stress, heat, and the trauma of rough seas. 

Lack of proper veterinary care and the inability to express natural behaviors exacerbate their distress, leading to illness, injury, and death during transit.

In 2023, New Zealand banned live animal exports due to concerns over animal welfare. The government stated that it was impossible to uphold the country’s animal welfare standards during sea transit or upon arrival at the destination.

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