Recent footage of blatant ESCAS breaches in the Middle East (Oman and Jordan) show why the sheep live ex trade must be phased out with a date for phaseout legislated. It is the last day for the petition: please sign: https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN5323.
The response of both past and present agriculture ministers to the latest round of meticulously documented atrocities committed against Australian sheep in the Middle East is just classic. Both insist the system works (or at least works mostly) and Littleproud even went so far as stating that ESCAS is why Australia was there – so we could fix things in the Middle East (despite the incontrovertible evidence in front of him).
As for ESCAS-approved facilities, a knife of variable sharpness and a table is all that seems to be required (hardly what the Australian public would find acceptable).
ESCAS was instituted in 2012 – 11 years ago. It has been policed by Australian officials rarely if ever. The facilities are not even inspected to confirm they are adequate. The only independent auditor has been the unpaid Animals Australia. And every time they turn up they find the system is broken. The odds of that happening in a functional system over 11 years would be zero. The odds of that happening if the system were continuously broken are very high.
One suspects that if presented with a photo of a red sky, the Australian government would maintain that it's always blue. The situation would be laughable if it weren't so tragic.
VALE wants to notify supporters of the petition requesting the House to legislate the date, within the 47th Parliament, to phase out live sheep export from Australia by sea within the shortest possible timeframe.
PETITION: Petition EN5323 - Legislate an end date for live sheep export this term
AND JUST IGNORE THE SURVEY that pops up first - dismiss it and get to the petition. Great timing from the Parliament to run this survey....NOT!
The petition is currently open for signature: https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN5323
The Australian Financial Review has reported that a Federal Court judge has labelled claims from cattle farmers that they could have exported an extra 800000 cows to Indonesia without the 2011 trade suspension as “cloud-cuckoo-land” and “absurd”.
Justice Steven Rares lashed the figure put forward by lawyers representing 215 affected farmers, suggesting it was simply not probable given the fixed capacity of Indonesia’s abattoir and quota system.
Justice Rares ordered the farmers to return in October to make their case, though he expressed his strong scepticism.
Lucky someone can see through live export spin. Maybe we should see what he thinks about the sky falling in on 'cloud cuckoo land' when the phaseout occurs.
The Australian Government says it is moving to assure international trading partners that Australia remains free from lumpy skin disease (LSD), after Indonesia suspended imports from four Australian facilities.
A small number of Australian cattle exported to Indonesia have been diagnosed with LSD, Australia’s chief veterinary officer indicated the positive results came after the cattle had arrived and spent some time in Indonesia, where LSD is endemic, but conceded that it could also have been contracted on the ships.
VALE raised the biosecurity risk of live export ships from Indonesia in July 2022. Initially this was rejected, but later it was conceded by the West Australian Department of Agriculture (AVA Albany Conference Sept 2022) that returning ships were a biosecurity risk for foot and mouth disease. It seems that ships could carry LSD vectors also.
The bottom line is that the risk to Australia’s non-exporting livestock producers and Australia’s much more profitable export beef trade matters less than the northern live export trade. The show must go on.
See also: https://nff.org.au/media-release/joint-statement-from-the-red-meat-advisory-council-and-the-national-farmers-federation-regarding-live-cattle-exports-to-indonesia/