Export voyage meets standards
The first live export voyage under the scrutiny of new independent observers has received praise for its treatment of animals, despite the death of 18.
The 22-day journey took 9227 sheep and 3695 cattle from Fremantle to Israel in June, with an observer onboard the MV Bahijah throughout.
Seventeen sheep and one cow died during the trip, with the mortality rates well below the new threshold of one per cent which was introduced after outrage over conditions on another live export ship earlier in the year.
‘‘The causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure on behalf of the exporter,’’ the observer wrote.
Well-maintained sheep and cattle pens were generally in good condition, while officers and crew were praised for being diligent on animal welfare.
Some animals suffered from ‘‘unavoidable’’ heat stress during the voyage, experiencing openmouth panting on one afternoon.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said full transparency was the only way to build public trust in live export animal welfare standards.
‘‘That’s why I said we needed the truth, and proof of what happens on live export boats,’’ Mr Littleproud said.
‘‘We need a tough cop on the beat and we need eyes and ears on those boats.’’
There are 22 reports of other live export vessels in progress.