Export footage shocks farmer
Kojonup sheep farmer Steve McGuire said he was appalled to see the suffering endured by livestock on a ship to the Middle East, and that tough steps should be taken to ensure it never happens again.
Mr McGuire said Emanuel Exports should not have sent a ship to the Middle East in the height of its summer.
“To have that ship, at that location, in that climate during the peak of summer was gambling with the industry’s reputation, farmers’ livelihoods, and most importantly the lives of those poor sheep,” he said.
Mr McGuire runs 10,000 sheep, some of which are sold for live export. He is the vice-president of WA farmers’ livestock council, but was speaking in a personal capacity.
He said although all farmers like himself were disgusted, he did not support closure of the industry.
“Not all live exporters should be tarred with the same brush — the majority do the right thing and conditions are far better,” he said.
“The industry is not inherently cruel, and it is a heavily regulated industry.
“As farmers we expect exporters to comply with the regulations, as set down by the Federal Government, so there needs to be questions asked as to how this could actually happen on the Emanuel’s voyage.”
Mr McGuire supports Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan’s suggestion it could be worth considering banning shipments arriving in the height of the Middle East summer.
“I wonder why they didn’t send the sheep a month earlier when conditions were cooler, and keep them in feedlots upon arrival until they are needed,” he said.
“Of course it is more expensive to do this, but that pales in comparison to the suffering.”
Kojonup farmer Steve McGuire says sheep should not be sent to the Middle East in the height of its summer. An image taken by a whistle-blower.
The Awassi Express berthed at Fremantle Harbour Monday morning.