See document here.
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) is warning its veterinarians not to sign export health certificate unless they can ensure animal welfare en route. A veterinarian could be held culpable legally if signing off on certificates to destinations in which there is poor animal welfare.
See document here.
In response to Senator Faruqi's request, The Auditor General is considering an audit of the live ex branch of the Dept of Ag.....
It can't come soon enough for VALE. In addition to all the previously identified issues (lack of knowledge or will to regulate plus or minus corruption - See Moss and Lawler Enquiries), this branch is still covering up big time. FOI documents are no longer publicly available once released and are harder than ever to request. High Mortality Investigation reports get forgotten (see Voyage 66!) or perhaps dumped altogether (still no report for Voyage 63 after 3 years). The delay on Independent Observer reports is still very long and most of the summaries when available have been shown to be significantly sanitised. And as for the editing of high mortality reports...incomplete sentences, poor grammar, omission of basic information (eg port of departure).....well clearly this Dept is under-resourced or lacking in basic competencies.
Bring it on!
VALE have just updated our webpages for High Mortality Voyage Reports and Independent Observer Reports. High Mortality Voyage 63 still has no report after 3 years. Voyage 66 is now up (delayed due to operational oversight (!!) and then delayed by Awassi Express investigations). Still the usual round of no obvious cause for the short haul high mortality voyages.....well go figure....they have a stockperson and NOT a veterinarian. A 4 day stockman course is not quite the same as a 5 year veterinary degree.....or is it? According to the exporters (Voyage 76), "an experienced stockperson would provide greater health and welfare outcomes for the livestock”. One has to wonder why the shipboard veterinarians continue to defend an industry that so demeans veterinary qualifications.
Emanuel Exports and two of its former directors have been charged for alleged cruelty to sheep after an 18 month investigation sparked by the 2017 Awassi Express footage.
Oh yes, and this week, the Dept of Ag concluded the footage was not contrived and no illegal payments were made...oh what a surprise.
And then this week, the Govt announced that the export ban for sheep would be extended to 22 September, and that once trade resumed, shipments through the Middle East would be required to submit a heat stress management plan, adhere to new lower stocking densities, and automatically collect on-deck temperatures to send to the department.
Could things be unravelling here for live ex....?!!!
The Senate has called on the Department of Agriculture to release dozens of outstanding reports from independent observers on live export ships, more than a year after some of those voyages have ended.
To the surprise of everyone, the Coalition backed the motion from the Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi on Wednesday, saying the observers were intended to provide greater transparency over the live export trade. Labor also backed the motion, which called on the government to release the outstanding reports and committed to releasing future reports in a timely manner.
VALE's careful compilation and analysis of Independent Observer reports has highlighted the differences between the real reports and the official reports and makes it easy to find both the cover ups and the gaps. VALE applauds all in the Senate for their support of this motion.
See full report in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/24/rspca-seriously-concerned-about-sanitised-live-export-observer-reports
See VALE's Independent Observer report assessment page: http://www.vale.org.au/independent-observer-reports.html
Wow is this industry desperate: trials to dehumidify ships so that they can resume a ME summer sheep trade!
The good news is that they finally get the fact that ship conditions are a major welfare condition that need to be addressed (after 40 years).
The bad news is that the dehumidification trial is funded through an Australian Government grant of $2.2 million. What a waste of money.....If the ships can be dehumidifed, what happens then? Sheep conditioned to low WBT emerge in Qatar to be loaded into trucks in high WBT...and then off to high WBT in the feedlots. How are the industry going to address that? Dehumidify the trucks and the feedlots or perhaps just dehumidify the whole Middle East?
If only the money had been used to really help primary producers transition and find new markets rather than just wasting more money on a dying trade.
The RSPCA has welcomed the Australian government's release of proposed new regulatory protections for live sheep exported to the Middle East during the months of September and October but is concerned at the suggestion live sheep exports might yet be resumed during this highest-risk period.
The Department of Agriculture's proposed new regulatory options, released last week for a 10-day public consultation period, include two options that the RSPCA says reflect the science and evidence, and significantly restrict live sheep exports during the month of September.
However, despite all evidence, there is one option that would allow exports to continue throughout September. The government havent publicised this (no doubt they notified industry) so go onto the government website and have your say....but you need to get in before the 22nd July.
As of today, the securities of Wellards have been suspended from ASX quotation.
Another BIG nail in the coffin. Theoretically Wellards can still rise from the abyss but it seems unlikely. The most likely outcome is that it will be broken up and assets (ships) sold off to other operators.
What a shame!
Officials from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development last week raided the Anna Marra live export ship which was docked in Fremantle port. The officials were searching for documents relating to the deaths of about 2000 sheep on the ship in 2017 during a voyage to Kuwait. And the industry is upset???
We have footage that shocks a nation and a full scale investigation into that. The consequences for the animals were shocking. The repercussion for both industry and farmers enormous....and some time down the track more information is required by the investigators and the ship is raided......seems reasonable.
But no, the bleating live ex industry describes it as a vendetta. Oh please.
More than 1,500 head of cattle and 99 buffalo from Australia have disappeared from approved feedlots or abattoirs in Vietnam over the past 13 months, according to a Federal Department of Agriculture report.The Dept has outline 2 critical, one major and one minor non-compliance. (See ABC report)
One incident shows CCTV cameras were tampered with before 644 head of cattle went missing from a feedlot. The feedlot owner denied any of the cattle were missing when first time exporter Purcell tried to verify their whereabouts, the owner was unable to provide any evidence. According to the ESCAS report, "the feedlot owner seemed to have complete disregard for ESCAS requirements despite verbal advice to the contrary".
In a separate incident, exporter Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) could not account for "nearly 1,000 animals" it shipped to Vietnam, which the company did not report to the department within the time period required under ESCAS rules.
Eventually, the company was able to track down where the animals went, determining that of the 872 cattle, 471 were traced to approved abattoirs and 401 died or were euthanased in feedlots. WOW....50% feedlot deaths.....ESCAS failure vs feedlot failure? Which is worse?
RSPCA stated that "Even though it is only a third of the size of the Indonesian market, it has three times the number of non-compliances over the last several years … that's a factor the Australian Government needs to take seriously," Mr Goodfellow said.
Once again, it is clear that no scheme an protect Australian cattle and sheep once they leave Australian shores.