3000 sheep died en route to the Middle East last year as part of a live export transport from Australia last year and details have now emerged as to the cause of the large scale kill off.
Documents released have revealed that up to 3000 sheep died due to heat stress aboard the Al Messilah vessel run by the export company Emanuel as a result of extreme humidity experienced over several days.
The ABC reports that the exporter lost track of how many animals had died due to the animals decomposing so quickly.
"The reason for any inaccuracy in counting of the daily death toll is that there was such a short time to collect and dispose of the bodies ... before reaching Doha port, after which it was not possible to dispose of any of the ever increasing number of dying animals and bodies, for the next three days, while there," the report stated.
According to the report 1741 sheep died during the long haul export but a further 1286 were unaccounted for.
The Minister for Agriculture in Western Australia has spoken of her deep shock over what he described as ‘horrific’ conditions.
She told the ABC that two steps that needed to be taken to stop this from happening again included financial penalties and the establishment of an independent governing body for the livestock industry.
There is evidence that [the Federal Government] can apply cruelty to animal provisions in these situations. It's just whether or not they can be overridden by federal guidelines," she said.
"But I think what I'd much rather see happen is that we look at the Productivity Commission report that was released recently into agriculture.
"One of the key recommendations was that we need to have an independent statutory body that is not captured by the agricultural industry or the animal welfare lobbyists."
Live export mortality rates from Australia have been on a decline since the 1990s but many in australia are now opposed to the live export industry with a group Vets Against Live Export leading a charge for a full ban of live export of livestock from Australia.