The Awassi Express might be temporarily sidelined (thanks to AMSA) but the Maysora (LSS) certainly isnt (thanks to DAWR).
So....the sheep just roll into Freo to be loaded according to the evidently flawed ASEL...same old, same old...just a different exporter and different ship....
VALE is impressed that Minister Littleproud has initiated such a prompt veterinary review into live export of Australian livestock from an Australian winter to the Middle Eastern summer.
The review is reportedly being undertaken by Dr Mike McCarthy, a veterinarian with numerous publications on the live export trade eg Pilot Monitoring of Shipboard Environmental Conditions and Animal Performance. This pilot study recommended a thorough collection of information on all livestock voyages...that was 2005 ....it never happened.
We believe that Dr Mike McCarthy is well placed to do the review having an intimate knowledge of the industry and the research that has been performed on heat stress. However, we do have concerns about his independence given that he has been a career live export veterinarian: shipboard veterinarian and industry-funded research. It is notable that the pilot study recommended a heat stress panting score that only identified heat stress in cattle as occurring at a much higher respiratory rates than the world-accepted (and Australian feedlot industry published) panting scores - acknowledged in the document.
It is easy to disappear to heat stress on routine voyages if you change the definitions!! This was 2005 and the world has moved on....and no doubt Mike McCarthy would now use all the later scientific information available on heat stress to assess the current situation (rather than relying on live ex industry participants who didnt believe a cow was panting till its respiratory rate exceeded 80 breaths per minute (<40 is normal).
VALE has offered Minister Littleproud help with the analysis. Our review paper on heat stress (why re-invent the wheel?) was actually published in a peer-reviewed, high citation index veterinary journal!
It should not go un-noticed that the main professional group exposing shocking animal cruelty in live export is actually the maritime profession.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority have consistently outdone Australian Dept of Ag (a travesty). A young mariner blows the whistle on the cruelty....(not an Australian stockperson). And Maritime publications have been all over the issue of poor animal welfare in live export for quite some time (Splash 24/7 and Maritime Executive).
Congratulations to the maritime profession for your professional integrity and humanity. You can definitely hold your head proud.
As for Faisal Ullah....is there a maritime bravery award for this young man? He is unlikely to be given such by our Australian government..
British Veterinary Association President John Fishwick said: “We believe that production animals should not be transported long distances to the abattoir but should be slaughtered as near to the point of production as possible. Animals should be transported on the hook, as meat, not on the hoof, as live animals.”
Perhaps VALE is not so radical after all....!
As reported in Maritime Executive
As reported in The Daily Advertiser
A former livestock carrier says all live exports of stock should be banned to end the misery for animals.
Wagga Wagga City councillor Paul Funnell says politicians need to stand up against the trade and “bite the bullet” on live exports and ban it for good.
“To actually see footage of five loads – not just one – of sheep treated like this is beyond comprehension – to say sickened is an understatement,” Mr Funnell said.
“I had eight phone calls before 9am today from concerned growers saying to shut it down – every single one of them said ‘who cares, I’ll get over it, we'll adjust’ – they don’t want this happening to their animals,” he said.
Mr Funnell said the industry would quickly adjust to a live export ban, adding that real farmers were not the ones truly benefiting from the practice.
Mr Funnell advocates the construction of abattoirs in northern NSW so that animals are processed in Australia and do not meet cruel ends in the Middle East. He said it was time that the live export trade was brought to a halt, and the sheep and cattle industries would have to adjust, just as the car industry did after closures.
Thanks Mr Funnell. We think a lot of Aussie farmers would agree with you too so it is great that this has been stated in public.
VALE were informed that a radio caller who identified himself as being a veterinarian told John Laws that the sheep in the 60 Minutes footage were not Australian as Australia does not have black-faced sheep.
Australia does have black faced sheep - plenty of them, including Dorpers. Dorpers are exported by Australia and Dorpers were listed specifically in the government's high mortality investigation report for the Awassi Express (Report 69).
The Agriculture Department says it will add an independent department veterinarian to the upcoming voyage to the Middle East.
This, despite the 60 Minutes program exposing endemic failures in the Ag Department's regulation and investigations. And any Dept vet will have Dr Lynn Simpsons fate at the hands of the Dept firmly in their mind....
If the public are to have any confidence in this process, we need a truly independent livestock veterinarian not a department veterinarian. VALE would be happy to find you a truly independent vet....!!!
For all those who wonder about why there are no prosecutions in the live export trade, Dr Malcolm Caulfield's article in Sheep Central is a must-read.
Basically, under Federal law, the exporters are untouchable.
Uncut footage from 60 Minutes
WARNING: this video is likely to cause distress to anyone who cares about animals.
This is the longhaul sheep trade to the ME summer.
Well done David Littleproud. A live export whistleblower hotline is definitely necessary in this closed trade. There are good concerned people in the industry who do really try....they just dont necessarily want to risk all like the brave Faisal Ullah. A whistleblower hotline will go a long way to uncovering the multitude of other dirty issues hidden by this very dirty industry.....
But please, this time, protect the whistleblowers.
In the past, the Australian government has not given this protection and has actually contributed to the vilification eg Dr Lynn Simpson - employed by the government to help fix the trade and then removed from her post when she tried to do just that)
eg the unnamed vet on Voyage 39 Ghena - inappropriate animals approved for loading by AQIS/DAFF but vet vilified for not recording individually treated animals because there is no crush onboard and he had no way of reading the faecal encrusted eartags...not to mention he was dealing with a crisis
eg Dr Lloyd Reeve Johnson - alerted the government about a high mortality incident and the fact that the ship then sailed without a stockperson or vet...amongst other things... and then exposed a multitude of issues on a voyage to Mauritius (no penalty for exporters or the export veterinarians who had certified the cattle to be non-pregnant)
eg Dr Tony Hill - forced to falsify numbers on the Al Khaleej in 2001 and was never supported by AQIS; career over
eg Dr Roger Meischke - too long a story to even start but suffice to say that this very fine diligent and ethical vet, the first government vet on a live ship suffered immeasurably....from 1978 on..because he was diligent, ethical and honest....at the hands of the government and their employees