Australian farmers and the Dept of Ag continue to trust the exporters despite everything, including the abuses uncovered at the destination and the disasters on ships. Is it absolute collusion, flagrant stupidity or wilful blindness?
When 16 inspectors spent >12h days in the South African feedlots and on the Al Messilah (as opposed to a cursory one-off visit from an industry-compliant Australian Dept official), they found suffering on an unimaginable scale. The feedlot manager has now been arrested for animal cruelty. The diligence of NSPCA in protecting animals has exposed the fact this company, the main exporter of sheep out of Australia (mostly using this very same ship), do not care one iota for animal welfare. No amount of spin can disguise this animal cruelty by an export company that also operates out of Australia and maintains it has the highest animal welfare standards.
Critics argue that this is what will happen if Australia stops exporting. They should perhaps note that the NSPCA has powers that RSPCA in Australia doesn't. That'ss why there is transparency in South Africa and why animal cruelty in live export can be actively policed and exposed.
It's not good for NSPCA if the trade moves there but, arguably, it could be an improvement for the sheep – at least they have protection there. And probably 11000 fewer had to suffer. Word at the port is that the ship left with a mere 38,000 onboard.