Dehumidifiers on live animal export ships wont work.....no surprise. The Tatura Guardian reports that the study found dehumidifiers reduced temperatures and humidity on an empty ship, but were not good enough to help when vessels were filled with sheep....
Nationals senator and veterinarian, Sam McMahon was scathing "It would seem that for $2 million, that could have involved some actual research with some livestock to answer those questions," she said.
"It's kind of like sailing an empty ship to the Middle East and saying we achieved zero mortalities."
There is also reportedly a four-year $700,000 research project developing animal welfare indicators for live animal exports, due to finish in 2021. Senator McMahon criticised the project, saying two years without a single report wasn't good value for money.
"The information that comes out is not worth a cracker if it doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny," she said. "If it's not published, then there's nothing to indicate there's any value in what came out of the research."
It may be worthwhile Dr McMahon requesting a full list of MLA funded livestock studies to assess just how many have resulted in peer-reviewed scientific studies.
Instead of acknowledging issues and addressing them, the industry has gone into over-drive on its spin campaign (see video). Depending on one's perspective, this could be viewed as desperately pathetic or totally hilarious.....
We have film producers who are now animal welfare experts: “coming from the outside we could really tell whether the industry was being cruel or whether actually animal welfare was at the centre of every thing they said it was” … hmmm ...for starters, what about that hindlimb lameness on the sheep filmed on the loading ramp?....[check the 1 minute 11 second mark]
We have the industry vet stating that is is "all about marketing and media" and that they have "demonstrated through great story telling" that we can change the narrative. And on it goes...
Of course the "story" has unravelled somewhat in South Africa with the clear animal welfare abuse documented on the Al Shuwaikh....yep, the vessel shown in The Sheep Collective's storytelling.
Note: RETWA is the Australian subsidiary of Livestock
Transport and Trading Company. LTTCo operates in Kuwait as Al Mawashi Reference: RETWA Media Release
See: NSPCA to lay charges over inhumane export of sheep to middle east
The Countryman reports that the agriculture analyst Mercado has produced a live export report, (Do We Need A Long Moratorium?) that found a three-month trade pause might not deliver more benefits than a one-month shipping standstill.
Well isnt that relief.....a financial analyst that can assess animal welfare!
...or can they? Bottom line is that it all comes down to assessment of welfare by mortality and the reduced stocking densities led lower than average mortality rates.
So, a seasoned AAV, Mike McCarthy advises the government that animal welfare cant be assessed by mortality alone, nearly every independent observer report on ME voyages describes features of prolonged heat stress but its all fine because they can suffer without dying.
ANIMAL MORTALITY is a measure of EXTREME animal welfare issues not a measure of acceptability.
How could it be that ag departments the world over care so little for animals and so much for trade? The South African government allowed the Shuwaikh to sail after all....even knowing it will be banned from the Australian trade in a few months due to its double tiers.
NSPCA threw everything at it in an attempt to stop it. They even engaged Dr. Shaun Morris, an experienced veterinarian and feedlot expert in South Africa, to inspect the vessel. Maritime Executive quotes Dr Morris as saying: “Having had an opportunity to attend the unloading on the Al Shuwaikh on Thursday evening and having been granted access to the vessel itself, it was evident that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s (DALRRD) lack of concern and more importantly, their absence at the loading point as well as on the vessel (save for short periods of time), is of serious concern,” said Morris. The NSPCA asked Morris to describe this shipment, and others like it. His response was “disaster.”
In a telling comment he apparently stated: “I would describe the role of DALRRD as nothing more than window dressing.” Welcome to our world Dr Morris.
See more: maritime-executive.com/article/the-al-shuwaikh-departs-south-africa