A government official sent to inspect Bader III as it prepared to leave with sheep for the Middle East last week was reportedly blocked from boarding because the vessel was under Federal jurisdiction. Was the official an animal welfare inspector? From the WA Livestock Compliance Unit (LCU)? If so, how very concerning.
According to the WA Ag Dept (technically the Dept of Primary Industries and Regional Development) website, the LCU's enforcement and compliance responsibilities under the WA Animal Welfare Act 2002 Act relate to commercial livestock and include "animal welfare monitoring at livestock aggregation points across all levels of the livestock supply chain (for example, saleyards, feedlots, abattoirs, knackeries and ports)". Maybe not?
Regardless of legalities, if the official was a LCU inspector then such action would raise the question of why the exporters didnt want to co-operate. According to ALEC, the industry needs a social licence to operate...and according to ALEC, welfare on ships is top notch. So, surely any exporter would throw the red carpet down the gangplank for a state government inspector so they could proudly display their exemplary animal welfare. Ah its such a transparent industry.