Sheep have always been exported in far greater numbers than cattle..5 million/year in the mid 2000s and still more than 2 million/year in the late 2000s. AND, they are allowed to die on ships in far greater numbers....2% acceptable deaths... compared to cattle (0.5% on short haul and 1% on long haul).
Even former live ex vet Lynn Simpson concentrates mainly on cattle. However, in her latest article in Splash, she has definitely put the spotlight onto sheep.
Somehow Australians identify with cattle and their suffering but dismiss the suffering of these vulnerable, defenceless creatures. "Well they are just so stupid"...Or are they? The more researchers assess cognitive abilities of various species, the more this entrenched view is challenged. In some tasks, sheep can outdo humans and in others they perform as well as monkeys. Yet we are happy to jam them in a feedlot, shear them any-old-how, truck them with similar disregard, shove them on a boat, let up to 2% of them die (even though we could reduce this by identifying high risk candidates in the feedlot) and then leave them to their mercy in the Middle East (shoved into car boots, hacked up in home slaughter etc).
They are smarter than cattle but usually treated worse. They are shipped for longer and are far more likely to end up cruelly treated at the other end. IT MUST STOP.