New Documentary Warns Of ‘Tremendous Suffering’ In Brazil’s Animal Export Trade

Actor Luísa Mell features in the new short film, which shines a light on cruel practices in the animal export industry


2 Minutes Read

A herd of white cows with a person riding a horse center-screen A herd of cattle on the BR-163 highway in Pará, Brazil - Media Credit: BrazilPhotos / Alamy Stock Photo

A new documentary is spotlighting cruelty in the live animal export industry.

Produced by Mercy For Animals and fronted by Brazilian actor Luísa Mell, the short film aims to raise awareness of the 11 million bovines who are shipped around the world every year, before being slaughtered at their end destination.

According to the documentary, 280,000 cattle leave Barcarena’s Porto De Vila Do Conde (Brazil’s main port for live animal export) every year. From there, in cramped, dirty conditions, they are shipped off on weeks-long journeys to the Middle East and North Africa.

“In slaughterhouses in the Middle East, animals are slashed in the legs with knives, gashed at the throat, and left to bleed to death, all while conscious and able to feel pain,” Mercy For Animals states.

“Live export causes tremendous suffering, and it needs to end now.”

Live animal exports

The live animal export trade isn’t exclusive to Brazil.

Romania exports around two million sheep every year. In 2017, Poland sent more than six million live pigs to Denmark. In the same year, four million chickens were shipped to Thailand from the Netherlands.

And in 2019, Meat & Livestock Australia reported that the country exported 1.3 million live cattle, the majority of whom were headed to China.

Mercy For Animals’ “Export Misery” campaign focuses on Brazil, however. The accompanying petition is addressed to the Brazilian Government, asking it to ban live animal exports for good.

A bill that would end the practice (Bill 357/2018) is already being reviewed by the federal Senate’s Environment Committee, and Mercy For Animals is urging that it gets passed.

The petition reads: “The Brazilian government can’t allow animals born and raised in Brazil to be crammed into ships for weeks and slaughtered in faraway countries where there is no legal protection.” 

It adds: “Listen to the people.”

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