RETWA has claimed the June-July Al Kuwait voyage a success because the heat stress experienced by the sheep apparently wasn't lethal.
This insistence on measuring animal welfare by mortality rates ignores the recommendations of the McCarthy Review and implies a reversion to pre-whistleblower (and pre-historic) animal welfare assessment by exporters. It disregards the public outcry that followed the Awassi Express whistleblower footage and again neatly hides the suffering that livestock experience at sea.
Sheep Central reports that KLTT would like to see the moratorium shortened: “What is the point in making improvements if it is a fixed moratorium for ever, regardless?”
The answer is, simply, that there were no genuine improvements in animal welfare. Even with stocking densities so low that KLTT made a large financial loss on the voyage, sheep suffered prolonged and intense heat stress. As RSPCA points out, the hottest temperature was experienced at 0100, so even at night there was no respite from heat that far exceeded stress thresholds for several days AND it is likely that panting scores in the daily voyage reports did not reflect the scores at 0100 when the AAV, stockperson and IO were all likely to be in bed (as per IO reports).
And thats just heat stress: there was pneumonia, infections and injuries, pink eye and contrary to ASEL, the birth of lambs was reported.
The on-voyage image supplied by RETWA doesn't show these sheep. Instead it shows spaced sheep resting recumbent - a natural behaviour that is denied them at financially viable stocking densities.
Hazlehurst backed down. There will be a riot if Littleproud does also. Mortality rates have never been and will never be an acceptable measure of animal welfare!