Previous VALE blogs indicate some very obvious industry cover-ups ... in Australia ... but almost nothing beats "the wall of transparency" built to prevent public viewing of loading at Adelaide Port. This clip has to be seen to be believed! The social licence to operate...ho hum!
Veterinarian behaviourist Dr Kate Lindsey was approached for comment on the welfare aspects of the "covering up" of the loading ramp at Adelaide Port. Her comments on the photos provided were:
"This defies all logic in relation to current, competent and safe handling of cattle. It is well documented that any change in sensory input will slow progress of livestock. The changes in light levels, sound of the moving tarp and poor ventilation are all features of the tunnel likely to slow progress up the ramp. In addition, there doesn't appear to be immediate, safe access to the animals travelling in the tunnel in the event of a down or distressed animal."
AVA insistent that there must be a vet on every ship and that the vet should be independent of the exporter. VALE say likewise. In a caring transparent, welfare-focused industry, surely that is not such a big ask....independent vets on every ship?
Would be handy if the government and public could get the truth on ships.....then, perhaps (?!) some genuine positive steps could occur whilst this trade persists. Meanwhile, of course, nothing changes on the ships.....as is evident in the latest article in Maritime Executive.
Well another scandal set to break....because live ex has so fixed animal welfare problems in importing countries...and Ms Penfold has requested co-operation with Animals Australia:
“This doesn’t have to be antagonistic and we certainty don’t need an us and them approach to this issue."“If we have the video we can better deal with animal welfare issues and possibly identify the source to prevent it happening again." “We haven’t had a track record of listening to people outside the immediate industry but we are listening now.”
"We havent had a track record of listening to people outside the ..industry.."....nothing is truer than that...and we want to "better deal with animal welfare issues and ...prevent ...happening again". So Ms Penfold how would you explain "the cover-up" at Adelaide Port? Perhaps observations of animal welfare issues overseas are helpful but on Australian soil definitely not?
After VALE's observations of diseased sheep arriving at Fremantle Port for loading on the Maysora on 27th November 2012, inspections of the sheep were performed by a group of people including the Senior Department of Agriculture Veterinarian at the time, Dr Haydn Roeger (see photo below).
VALE wrote a courteous letter to Dr Roeger regarding their clinical observations but received no reply.
As a final update, Dr Roeger has now left the Department of Ag….and works for LSS (Livestock Shipping Services).
In an effort to block public viewing at Fremantle Port on 27th November 2012, industry moved shipping containers to block the public's view of ship-loading. VALE spokesperson Sue Foster headed down to Port to capture the moment (see below).
There were a fair few sheep on the trucks that had mild to severe nasal discharge ....definitely not fit to load under ASEL.....
Upshot: VALE's Sue Foster recognised and all public access to Fremantle Port stopped 2 weeks later!
18th May 2016: a film crew heads down to Adelaide Port to film loading of a live export ship
7th June 2016: filming of loading now not possible.....yep, the industry have literally covered-up!!! A huge ballooning blue tarp was placed over the loading ramp for loading of the Ghena (see below).
So, if there is nothing to hide......???????? I guess they don't tell Temple Grandin everything!
And yes....there is a precedent for this behaviour....see next blog!
Analysing the ESCAS Regulatory Performance Report 1 Dec 2015-29 Feb 2016 provides more evidence to support VALE's answer to that question.
Report #57: Australia has been exporting cattle to Israel for over 20 years….plenty of time to improve animal welfare one would have thought. So what happened at Dabbah? Dabbah was the first ESCAS approved abattoir in Israel. The abattoir performs kosher and halal slaughter …without stunning of course.
In May 2015, Animals Australia again managed to find non-compliance (really they should be paid by the Department!) and yes the evidence was all found to be “kosher”. The abattoir was suspended from ESCAS (and local market) and then fixed (apparently/sort of). The Department applied conditions: that only fully trained shochets (kosher slaughterman) ware engaged for Australian livestock “to safeguard Australian livestock processed at the abattoir” (no such luck for the local cattle whose welfare we have improved so much over 20 years). By January 2016, the abattoir was “generally compliant” with ESCAS standards…..ie so we moved from “systemic animal welfare problems", in an ESCAS approved facility, to "generally compliant" (ie not fully compliant) after over 20 years of involvement with Israel and over 6 months with this abattoir. Impressive evidence of Australia’s impact on animal welfare
Report #28: “There have been multiple confirmed reports of serious animal welfare breaches in Gaza over a long period of time suggesting that ESCAS standards are unlikely to be maintained in that market”. Really? What a surprise.
Over and over we hear we are improving animal welfare in importing countries yet all available evidence indicates that that is clearly not the case. VALE’s evidence-based conclusion after analysis of all available data is that animal welfare will never improve in importing countries whilst those countries do not have a culture of animal welfare or appropriate animal welfare legislation.
VALE tracks live export ships as they ply their ugly trade and we have a few questions:
1) what was the previously troubled Ocean Swagman doing at Port Izmir (Turkey)....didnt depart for 9 days, then went out, then came back, then went out......
2) What has delayed the Devon Express? It left Townsville on the 17th May, due Vietnam on 28th May....and still not arrived as far as we know. Thus far the voyage has been 16 days and almost certainly with no vet onboard (the latest Export Advisory Notice doesnt require vets to be present on voyages over 10 days)...concerning....!
Mining billionaire (ie someone who perhaps understands money!), said "live animal exports should become a last resort if WA wanted to maximise the value of its farm sector." He stated: "Australia wins and the consumer wins."
If one of our richest businessman says that, when are the productivity commission going to investigate live export and what it really COSTs the Australian economy?
Ref: The Weekend West May 28-29, News p11