Ex­port voy­age meets stan­dards

Shepparton News - Country News - - WOMEN IN AG FORUM -

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.

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