"The truth is that there is a very dark side to this trade and there is no way that live animal export can be ethical," he wrote in an article published last month in the Sydney University journal Control and Therapy.
He described the relatively poorly equipped vessels staffed by foreign crews and noted that they were rarely captained by an Australian. Ventilation and heat stress issues were described.
Contrary to the report in The Daily Examiner, Dr Kerkenezov served as a vet on live export vessels in 2002 and 2003 (not 1982!) and has been master on other types of merchant ships carrying livestock (horses and cattle). He is not a "former mariner" as he is still an actively engaged master mariner (unlimited ship size and area of operation) in the merchant navy. His master's certificate is the highest certification in Australia.
Dr Kerkenezov's courageous article and stance should be an example to all veterinarians. Thank you Dr Kerkenezov.