Letter from an ex Arabian Gulf oil rig worker.

This is an excerpt from the full letter….

10th August 2003

To those with a conscience
The Live sheep and animal trade

Every time I see a truckload of animals heading for Fremantle, I feel ashamed to be an Australian! These animals are leaving Australia at this time of year in the middle of winter. When they get to their destination it will be in the middle of the Northern Summer where temperatures of 40 + degrees are normal.

Humans with the benefit of air conditioning cannot readily acclimatise, humans can bitch and moan and get better conditions, the poor old sheep just has to stand and take what comes.

Even though they mainly rely on us for their protection, and have probably done more for the prosperity of Australia than any other animal, they are regarded as simply a means of making a quick dollar.

There are not many people that have travelled with these animals that are solely concerned for their welfare, so that all anyone has to go by are the reports by the vested interest of this vile trade.

I worked in the Arabian Gulf on an offshore drilling rig for many years and have seen these ships carrying these sheep go past on a regular basis. You can smell these ships long before they come over the horizon, and for days afterward dead sheep would be floating past the rig, this is because the tide runs in a circular motion.

We could not understand why there were so many sheep tossed into the sea on a single day, until we saw a couple of them trying to swim, then we realised that this must have been the final clearout of those animals that would not have passed inspection, or would have died before sale.

Rather than kill them and carry them to the side of the ship, they must have made them walk to the ships side and just pushed them overboard.

Unless you have lived in the Middle East, you can have no comprehension of the people or customs or conditions that exist in that area.

To say that you have to send sheep live because there is no refrigeration is absolute bullshit. There are supermarkets there just as there are here, and they sell frozen meat of every description.

I have seen an animal killed in the back streets of one of these countries and it was not a pretty sight. I only saw one and do not wish to see another. That poor sheep was being skinned with its throat only half cut, hanging up by its heels. The fate of some of these animals can only be described as being horrific.

There is no way that anyone with any sense of decency could ever condone the live animal trade! Not only is it cruel beyond belief, it is also economic stupidity. The fate that falls to some of these animals is indescribable and horrific.

NB: The letter was signed and the author provided his address and contact number.
We have been granted permission to use this letter in all or in part.



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