Over the following three-part series, the Human Rights at Sea Interview speaks to Dr. Lynn Simpson as a woman at sea in her previous role as a Veterinarian working on livestock carriers.
The series covers many issues including the way in which Dr. Simpson was treated by Captains, other crew, abuses she suffered and the working environment in which she had to undertake her role. At times, her story makes for difficult reading, but unearths unpleasant truths for a woman at sea and one who whistle blows on unacceptable practices. The personal consequences of such trauma has had a lasting effect.
Part 1/3: Captains, Caring and Consequences
There were times when captains wouldn’t allow veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson access to the ships gun to euthanize suffering animals on livestock carriers at sea. There was a fear that, in the wrong hands, the gun, or the barbiturates typically used in practice on land to ease animal suffering, could turn into a means for crew members to commit suicide. The master instead kept these things under lock and key.
Lynn, who now suffers PTSD as a result of her experiences at sea and as a whistleblower ashore, spoke to HRAS about the challenges faced by the crews on livestock carriers.
“You have been criticized by animal welfare organizations and concerned individuals for not using standard veterinary euthanasia techniques, instead having to slit animals’ throats or use blunt trauma to the head. What were the captains’ concerns that put you in this position?”