Onboard video footage from Israel, purportedly recorded in Eilat, March 2017 shows just why animals will continue to suffer and die AFTER unloading.
The footage and cattle coats are consistent with claimed time of year. The images are typical of a voyage of several weeks duration such as Australia to Israel. An Australian ship was recorded in Eilat in March 2017. The coughing animals are classic examples respiratory disease, such as pneumonia or ammonia exposure. Given that people are around and that other cattle are moving, the lethargy and reluctance of recumbent animal to move indicates significant illness.
Any animals with respiratory diseases that are then subject to unloading and transportation stresses (and heat stress in different seasons), can easily succumb from their disease.
Note: despite the summer coats and low humidity of Eilat (both limiting faecal jacket formation), the faecal coated cattle in this footage are consistent with those in images Dr Lynn Simpson...but according to industry, her voyages are all prior to 2012 so outdated and irrelevant.
We know sick animals are unloaded off boats but we never get the figures of how many animals die in the feedlots ie the mortality between voyage and slaughter.
Well finally, we have some figures for at least one voyage and its not pretty. The latest ESCAS report shows that LSS discharged 10,167 cattle at Eilat, Israel between 9 and 11 May 2016. The voyage mortality was a very low 0.47% (48 cattle). However, 38 hospital cases that had been treated for BRD were discharged. In the quarantine that followed, 141 cattle deaths (1.4%) occurred over 24 days in one feedlot, 55 cattle deaths (3.6%) over 18 days in another where the hospital cases were sent. Heat stress and Bos taurus identified as an issue....AGAIN.
No doubt about it, both BRD and heat stress cause untold suffering in live export cattle and the extent of the suffering and deaths may not be represented at all in the voyage figures.
A new study supposedly debunks myths re LE....so lets look a little closer:
1. Australian Farm Institute is not independent. For all the criticism of previous studies financed by welfare groups - they have been performed by independent "auditors". Getting a publicly pro LE group to analyse LE is analogous to getting the tobacco industry to investigate lung cancer.
2. These seem to be the same old figures re jobs and value in live export. There is an urgent need for a new assessment of the impact of live export vs processing in the current state of low animal numbers. Abattoirs around the country are closing and jobs are disappearing. As for that old 10000 job number that appeared with not a skerrick of evidence but is now regarded as fact.....
3. The claim that live export and processing are separate markets is a very old chestnut and even the industry acknowledges that live export is directly competing for animals with processors in Australia and with Australian meat in overseas markets. (see Ross Ainsworth SE Asian reports on Beef Central).
4. The inflated, unsubstantiated claims about animal welfare are just the usual propaganda.
5. The real question is why did Keogh feel the need to write this in the first place? Why does the whole farming lobby defend live export so vigorously? And when is the productivity commission going to look at this so we can all get independent analysis as to the economic benefit (or otherwise) to Australia.