Speaking to the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia Mr Jack Burton (Yeeda; Kimberley Meat) said "There are a lot of places—some of the places up the Gibb and places like that—where they will muster 1,000 cattle and get 50 on a boat—50 out of 1,000—and so they just kick the gates on them."
Presumably 'kicking the gates on them' results in the remaining emaciated cattle littering the Gibb. But, in addition to animal welfare issues, the question has to be asked: What sort of industry operates with 5% efficiency business model?
A good wet season and a record live export year, yet this is what "the dry" brings for cattle on some stations.
Rain and feed are still several months away.
A timely reminder to international tourists that Australia cares about its animals and has the best animal welfare in the world?
At 10pm on 18th August Fremantle lost their train service after 2 ships were pushed into the bridge. Fremantle Port have been strongly criticised. The Australian Institute of Marine Power Engineers says the writing was on the wall by about noon. "The harbour master should have had the tugs on gale watch" they said. Gale alert means tugs are required to be on standby at the Port but the Port never issued a gale watch so they werent available when the first vessel broke away at 10pm. Fortunately no trains were affected as there is no early warning for bridge accidents in Fremantle, despite this being the second episode of ship-induced bridge damage in the last 12 months.
The irony is, of course, that it is the supposedly stringent Fremantle Port Security that banned all public access to Fremantle Port after VALE spokesperson, Dr Sue Foster wrote to get official approval for observing live export loading, something she had been doing legally for 18 months (with informal police approval for standing in the designated public access point).
VALE is obviously far more of a threat to Port security than gale force winds it would seem!
In addition to "streamlining" ESCAS (which apparently wont weaken animal welfare....), federal agriculture minister, Mr Barnaby Joyce, has plans to exempt Saudi Arabia from ESCAS. Saudi slaughtering facilities are government owned so "well run" according to My Joyce. We assume he is going on Colin Barnett's wonderfully well informed assessment of Saudi (without having ever seen the facilities of course).
The Saudis will not accept ESCAS and they have oil....so, guess who will roll over.?...and no guesses as to what will suffer. Egyptian facilities, also ESCAS exempt were government run and it took an Egyptian government vet to blow the whistle there.
Interestingly, this latest blow to animal welfare has been splashed around UK (See http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/animal-welfare-laws-anger-as-barnaby-joyce-plans-to-exempt-saudi-arabia).