New ships to ease the suffering?
Dutch company Vroon is currently launching the next generation livestock carriers. Apparently, they are fitted with animal welfare facilities exceeding Australian regulations (not so hard!) and incorporate a revolutionary bow design that will ensure maximum comfort for cargo and crew.
“Watering and feeding happens automatically, and the ventilation systems can renew the air in the stables up to 45 times an hour.”
Hopefully, that will at least signal the end of the ancient, converted, non-purpose-built tubs currently plying the trade. Pity Vroon isnt managing ESCAS at the other end to ensure appropriate livestock handling and a stunned slaughter. Maybe they need to integrate....or ...there is always the option of just carrying the meat!
Could future operations of one of WA's biggest live export companies were under a cloud? Again it has been found that breached animal welfare rules.
Department of Agriculture investigators found LSS committed one minor and two major breaches of export laws over incidents involving sheep and cattle in Gaza and the United Arab Emirates.
Two months ago, the company was hit with a non-compliance ruling over incidents in Jordan. Twelve months ago there was a major non-compliance finding and also the heat-related deaths of more than 4000 sheep on the Bader.
Time to cancel those export licences Mr Glyde!
1. Make sure the "normal" range for respiratory rates is high enough to cover those seen in heat stress.
2. Set the heat stress threshold wet bulb temperature higher than any scientifically proven levels.
3. Score all animals as having no heat stress regardless of respiratory rate, respiratory character, wet bulb temperature or clinical signs of heat stress.
Done and Dusted. Dont recognise it, dont report it, dont acknowledge it and ...bingo, dont have it. No heat stress. Simple.
The latest in cover-ups?
Well the FOIs on the Bader voyage are out and the Department of Agriculture (DoA) has denied covering up the circumstances surrounding the mass death of more than 4000 sheep last year.
Interesting that the exporter took 13 days to notify the department (should be within 12 hours), daily reports not produced as required and that there was no mention by exporter or DoA of such a disastrous incident until it was revealed by The West Australian in January. And there are many more questions that need to be asked eg:
1. how did 4000 Merino sheep die of heat stress on a voyage where only 1/600 cattle died? Sure they were heat tolerant Bos indicus types....but were they really this heat tolerant??
2. why were the enclosed decks worse affected than open decks? (was there a failure in ventilation?)
3. why the discrepancies between reported wet bulb temperatures and daily temperatures and humidity in Doha for that day?
4. Why were the Freo sheep dying at a much higher rate than the Adelaide sheep before the heat crash?
And the list goes on.
What did really happen? Was there a problem in ventilation? Was it fixed in the days before AMSA could check? Why did LSS delay reporting? Why did LSS get off scot free after breaches in reporting? So many questions and we will never know the answers....as usual.