The Government’s latest quarterly report into ESCAS is hardly a happy Christmas present. In total, the report records 22 findings of non-compliance against seven exporters, including six critical and eight major non-compliances. Yet again, Livestock Shipping Services features in the critical non-compliances, bringing its total to six critical and seven major non-compliances….but absolutely no prosecution or licence suspension.
Given that many of the compliance issues were in Vietnam, it is clear that market expansion has clearly been prioritised at the expense of animal welfare. And as for the weary old argument “ we are improving animal welfare in other countries”….well over 40 years involvement in the Middle East hasn't changed a cracker…and why would it?
But never forget…..the live export industry cares deeply for its exploited animals. Sure….and Santa is about to arrive on his free range, gently driven, well fed reindeers.
Ex-live-export vet Dr Lynn Simpson has sent an open letter to IMO pleading for better ships and international regulation of ships in the live export trade. There is little doubt that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has done far more than the Dept of Ag to improve conditions for exported Australian livestock. If this plea to IMO is successful, animals worldwide may benefit from the suffering that has gone before….and from the considerable work and investment by AMSA into improving animal welfare when Dept of Ag didn't give a toss.