Friday, 25 October 2013

What does it matter if they die a suffocating death? After all, they are only living, breathing beings.

From The Weekly Times

Cattle suffocates on flight

Rob Harris |  October 24, 2013

AUSTRALIAN cattle have suffocated during a flight from Melbourne to Kazakhstan, foreign media reports.
The shipment of 321 purebred Angus and Hereford heifers were on a Boeing 747 cargo flight as part of a breeding Kazakhstan government breeding program, according to Kazakh news service Tengrinews.

The 49 heifers suffocated when the air conditioning system malfunctioned, the Veterinarian Service of the Agricultural Ministry said.
They were found dead when the shipment landed in Almaty following a 17-hour flight which included refuelling in Singapore.

"The airplane carrying the live cargo arrived today during the night. But it was discovered that part of the cattle died along the way,'' he said.

The report suggest the cattle were loaded on to the plane in "a bi-level configuration in special boxes", with those on the lower level surviving.
It is believed the deaths were caused when the cows' natural wastes - ammonia _ became the source of poisonous vapors and they suffocated because of insufficient supply of oxygen, a Kazakh veterinarian said.

The Federal Department of Agriculture confirmed this afternoon it was investigating a "live animal exports reportable mortality incident that occurred onboard a flight to Kazakhstan''.

A spokesman said the exporter loaded breeder cattle onto a flight from Melbourne this week.

"As part of normal processes, the exporter advised the department that the reportable mortality level for cattle during the flight had been exceeded,'' he said.

"The department is investigating the reasons for the mortalities, working with the exporter.''

Garry Robinson, chief executive officer of Western Australian-based Livestock Shipping Services, said he was waiting on a report US-based Atlas Air for more information.

He said the shipment was the first of five in the past month to experience problems taking cattle to Kazakhstan.

Mr Robinson said reports of the deaths were "very puzzling and deeply concerning''.

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