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Cattle and other farm animals in transit to Mauritius suffer enormously both during the interminable journey across oceans and as they are unloaded from ships to be taken to slaughterhouses or sold elsewhere. Cattle are imported to Mauritius mostly from Australia and South Africa.
Damning investigations and evidence by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in South Africa and Animals Australia have shown how these farm animals are transported in abject conditions, and are subjected to horrendous brutality, during and after the sea voyage. In a recent scandal, pregnant cattle were shipped to Mauritius from Australia in contravention of regulations. Many died during the voyage, and those who gave birth to calves had the calves taken from them and killed. Some of those which survived were subjected to roping and hoisting prior to having their throats cut in slaughterhouses. Farm animals are gentle, sentient creatures that feel intense fear, stress and pain, and ought not to be subjected to such atrocious cruelty.
There was once a time when slaves—hounded and captured from their native lands—were shepherded in overcrowded ships, labelled and treated as cargo. The immeasurable suffering of these human beings was once unrecognized and widely accepted as normal. Today, too, the slavery of animals—and such inacceptable cruelty towards them—is widespread and rarely questioned.
We, humans, ought to open our eyes and accept to see the truth of our actions: the inflicting of untold suffering upon millions of animals, when such suffering can be readily ended by stopping this cruel live import and export.
Hereby follows extracts of the eyewitness account of Reverend Walsh regarding the conditions involved in the importation of slaves; see for yourself if you can truly make a distinction between the suffering involved in importation of humans back in the days of slave trade and the suffering of animals in this day and age. The account below describes the suffering of slaves; but how true it rings today itself where the importation of live farm animals is concerned!
“As soon as the poor creatures saw us looking down at them, their dark and melancholy visages brightened up. They perceived some- thing of sympathy and kindness in our looks which they had not been accustomed to, and, feeling instinctively that we were friends, they immediately began to shout and clap their hands. One or two had picked up a few Portuguese words, and cried out, "Viva! Viva!" The women were particularly excited. They all held up their arms, and when we bent down and shook hands with them, they could not contain their delight; they endeavored to scramble up on their knees, stretching up to kiss our hands, and we understood that they knew we were come to liberate them. Some, however, hung down their heads in apparently hopeless dejection; some were greatly emaciated, and some, particularly children, seemed dying.
The heat of these horrid places was so great and the odor so offensive that it was quite impossible to enter them, even had there been room. They were measured as above when the slaves had left them. The officers insisted that the poor suffering creatures should be admitted on deck to get air and water. This was opposed by the mate of the slaver, who, from a feeling that they deserved it, declared they would murder them all. The officers, however, persisted, and the poor beings were all turned up together. It is impossible to conceive the effect of this eruption - 517 fellow creatures of all ages and sexes, some children, some adults, some old men and women, all in a state of total nudity, scrambling out together to taste the luxury of a little fresh air and water. They came swarming up like bees from the aperture of a hive till the whole deck was crowded to suffocation front stem to stern, so that it was impossible to imagine where they could all have come from or how they could have been stowed away. On looking into the places where they had been crammed, there were found some children next the sides of the ship, in the places most remote from light and air; they were lying nearly in a torpid state after the rest had turned out. The little creatures seemed indifferent as to life or death, and when they were carried on deck, many of them could not stand.
After enjoying for a short time the unusual luxury of air, some water was brought; it was then that the extent of their sufferings was exposed in a fearful manner. They all rushed like maniacs towards it. No entreaties or threats or blows could restrain them; they shrieked and struggled and fought with one another for a drop of this precious liquid, as if they grew rabid at the sight of it.”
Are we going to take longer to put a stop once and for all to the suffering of all these creatures? Are we not going to help ‘liberate’ them? Can not the compassionate step of putting an end to this live trade of cattle and other farm animals be embraced?
We strongly voice out against this inhumane live trade and reiterate our sincerest appeal to the Government of Mauritius to put end to the live importation of cattle and other animals labelled as ‘livestock’.
Eye Witness to History.com, Aboard a Slave Ship, 1829: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/slaveship.htm