Exclusive: livestock ships twice as likely to be lost as cargo vessels

Billion-dollar export trade puts lives of animals and crew at greater risk of ‘total loss’ through faulty design and inexperience

Ships carrying live animals are at least twice as likely to suffer a “total loss” from sinking or grounding as standard cargo vessels, the Guardian has found.

In the past year alone there have been two disasters involving animals in transit. Last November, at least 14,000 sheep drowned after the Queen Hind capsized en route to Saudi Arabia from Romania. And last month, Gulf Livestock 1, a carrier transporting almost 6,000 cattle, sank off the Japanese coast en route to China from New Zealand. Forty crew members remain missing and are presumed dead.

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