The letter from exporter, LSS, to The West Australian complaining about the McCarthy review and recommendations was ridiculous. Veterinarians from both VALE and RSPCA responded but were not published. However, what was published was the stinging retort from David Littleproud.
LSS Letter: click here
Littleproud response: click here
Australians love farmers and the bush and they trust them…but the Awassi Express footage has really rocked confidence in Australian farm animal welfare. Add to that the fact that the usually conservative Australian Veterinary Association have stated publicly that sheep should not be exported to the ME by ship in a northern summer and that a 30% increase in space allowance is required for 40-60 kg Merino wethers on all ships to meet basic animal welfare standards voyages (a condition that is apparently not commercially viable), then clearly the Australian public has good reason to be questioning Australian commitment to farm animal welfare.
NZ stopped their live export trade on the basis of reputational risk. Can Australian farmers really risk their reputation both overseas and within Australia by demanding, against veterinary advice, that the live ex trade needs to be continued...in summer...and without a 30% space increase.....using Barnaby Joyce, of all people, to spruik their cause?
If farmers want to maintain consumer confidence, they really need to consider their “brand” very carefully in light of current veterinary recommendations.
LSS gone for summer, Emanuels with no licence and now Phoenix has backed out of taking 15000 sheep into the ME summer....
Meanwhile, according to Sky News, Emanuels is lining up its the Messilah and Shuwaikh in WA to try for split loads, if they can find someone to take the licence.....
With luck or ...true Department diligence (dream on)... there wont be any more licences this ME summer...and Australian sheep will be spared the hell of heat stress in 2018. One summer....out of the last 40 or so....is it too much to ask?
The Department of Agriculture admitted it had wrongly issued a permit to the controversial live exporter Emanuel Exports. The department, invariably described by Littleproud as the "independent regulator", is already the subject of a major review over its past regulation of the live export trade, admitted its error in court documents filed in response to a case brought by Animals Australia.
However, one has to ask the question was it easier to roll over and admit an administrative error than have evidence produced in court which would show up their "cowboy culture" to a much greater degree.
The company at the centre of the live sheep trade scandal (Emanuel Exports) has had a second export licence suspended by the Agriculture Department according to the ABC.
The ABC understands the department rejected the permit application from EMS because it was an "associated entity" of Emanuel Exports.
Common sense has prevailed....or...was it the threat of Animals Australia to seek a court injunction???
Regardless, its time to sell the sheep to Fletchers (or another local processor) one would think.
Well, if thats the case, it needs to follow McCarthy's 4th recommendation....to change the heat stress model so that there is <2% chance of >5% sheep having heat stress on a voyage....Recommendation 4....the recommendation the government chose not to accept!
Freedom-of-information documents provided to Fairfax Media June revealed that the Al Shuwaikh - would need to reduce sheep number by 68 per cent to 92 per cent on most decks in June, July, August and September.
So Littleproud…..YOU chose not to accept that recommendation and YOU are letting one of the ships that should be most affected by McCarthy’s Report sail at one of the worst months of the year….and then with a subsidiary of Emanuels.
Recommendation 4—Heat Stress Risk Assessment
“As an interim measure, it is recommended that the risk be set at a 2% probability of 5% percent of the sheep becoming affected by heat stress (Heat stress score 3—see Table 1)….”
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has said he has no power to interfere with the operations of the independent regulator. "All decisions on live export licensing, issuing of export permits and related matters are made by the independent regulator alone," the minister said in a statement.
Exactly what independent regulator is he talking about? The Department of Ag....??? The same Department of Ag that is currently under an independent inquiry to assess its performance and culture (Moss Inquiry)? The same Department that promotes the live export industry?
In 2003, Mr Graham Daws was Managing Director of live export company RETWA when its licence was suspended by DAFF due to four high mortality shipments. During this suspension Mr Daws was able to continue to export animals under an export licence held by Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd.
Fast forward to 2018, Emanuels, with Graham Daws as Director, has its licence suspended but are able to export their sheep under yet another licence, EMS.
AA's website has always stated that this was a "loophole since closed by the Federal government". It appears not...
Israeli government have given support to a bill that would phase out the importation of animals from Australia and Europe for slaughter.
This support will be closely monitored from numerous exporting countries......A sign of things to come?
Animals should always be slaughtered as close to the point of production as possible.