The Statesman, a ship carrying 200 cows through the Bass Strait, encountered rough seas and severe weather on Saturday night. It's been reported that most, if not all, of the animals were being kept without shelter on the deck of the ship.
Fifty-six animals, more than a quarter of the cows, died of injuries in just 24 hours. Some were in such bad shape, they had to be euthanized upon reaching port in Victoria.
This latest massive failure, far from the first, shows just how far the live export industry will go to make a buck. Thousands of animals are routinely shipped long distances in the live export business and longterm suffering and painful deaths along the way are just part of the routine. In January, 13,000 animals were stranded for days at sea.