According to Maritime Executive, the port authority in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain has banned the livestock carrier Polaris 2 from anchoring near to the port (at least when loaded) due to the vessel’s foul smell.
Those of us who live in Fremantle can well relate to that especially with ships coming around from Portland and/or Adelaide that "top up" in Freo.
Sadly Freo is unlikely to follow suit given Freo Port Authority's stance on LE....they wont let VALE observe on the basis that government observers and regulators are more than up to the task of ensuring compliance and good animal welfare (ho hum). It would be interesting to know, of course, just how often WA and Federal inspections actually occur at Port now there are NO independent observers allowed at Port.
Heat stress was the main factor contributing to the latest high mortality voyage due to extreme humidity experienced over several days while transiting the lower Arabian Gulf and discharging at Qatar. Nothing new there....Bader in 2013 for example.
SO what action did the department take? To reduce reducing stocking density of the vessel and LOAD INDUSTRIAL FANS. OMG....are they for real? Wet bulb temperature is WBT and no amount of industrial fans...(placed where? how? using what measure of efficacy?) ...is going to prevent a disaster.
And then, it gets even better, the next consignment reported a mortality rate of 1.38% and this was considered fine. Well it isnt....this is still well above the industry average (0.9%) ....and should have been deemed problematic...ie problem has not been fixed.
Bottom line is that voyages to the Middle East summer are too risky in terms of animal welfare and must cease. Second bottom line is that despite all AAV (vet) input and expertise, the Department has absolutely NO CLUE about live ex voyages.
Well live ex numbers are down and somehow scandals seem to have been diminished or downplayed for the last 6 months…..but don't think everything has magically fixed.
In July last year, Emmanuel Exports Pty Ltd had an absolute shocker voyage, losing 3027 sheep, 4.36% of its load on a voyage from Fremantle to Hamad/Jebel Ali/Kuwait/Muscat (see latest Parliamentary Report). VALE’s port records indicate that the ship was the Al Messilah.
Then it looks like Al Shuwaikh (also Emmanuels) lost 1.49% on a voyage from Fremantle to Hamad/Jebel Ali and Kuwait in August-September 2016…under the reportable 2% but still not great when even with the stats skewed upwards by the 4.36% mortality, the total % mortality for the 6 month period was 1.2% (average annual mortality has been 0.9% or less since 2009).
And then Otway Livestock/Wellard managed to just sneak under the reportable mortality limit in September-October 2016 with 1.98% sheep mortality on a voyage from Fremantle to Eilat on the “mighty ship” Ocean Drover (formerly MV Becrux).
Poor old sheep….they just continue to suffer. Make no mistake, NOTHING has changed for sheep voyages in LE. Voyages with unacceptable mortality continue unabated and sheep continue to suffer on long haul voyages ….mostly on the same old ships…just as they have done for the last 20 years, especially in Middle East summer.