Rocky times con­tinue as cat­tle ship de­tained

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

THE bat­tle for top dog will be on to­mor­row at the Tas­ma­nian Yard Dog As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual cham­pi­onships.

This year the titles will be held at the Roberts yards at Powranna. About 40 dogs will com­pete with ac­tion run­ning from 7.30am un­til abut 5pm.

The judge is Neil Lynch from the NSW Yard Dog As­so­ci­a­tion.

Yard-dog tri­als in­volve han­dlers and their dogs work­ing as a team to ne­go­ti­ate sheep through a chal­leng­ing course.

Each com­peti­tor en­ters the arena with the 100 points and has a max­i­mum of 12 min­utes to com­plete the course.

The judge can deduct points over the du­ra­tion of the course. The judge also spec­i­fies how the ob­sta­cles are to be taken.

To­mor­row’s titles are di­vided up into three classes, novice, im­prover and open. The top teams in each class then en­ter a fi­nals run-off.

The scores from both runs are added to­gether to de­ter­mine the fi­nal plac­ings.

TYDA pres­i­dent Tim Hall will have four dogs com­pet­ing in to­mor­row’s cham­pi­onship.

He said it took years of work to get a dog to the stage where it can com­pete con­sis­tently at the top level.

“Re­ally they’re about four years old before they are a con­sis­tent open dog,” he said.

“Some will get up there quicker than that, but for them to go out and work well ev­ery time it does take years.”

Mr Hall said the num­ber of com­peti­tors was grow­ing.

“We’ve got more peo­ple com­pet­ing now and more dogs, which is good to see.”

Through­out the year about 10 tri­als are held around Tas­ma­nia, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from farm tri­als to coun­try shows and events.

The state champion will get the op­por­tu­nity rep­re­sent Tas­ma­nia at the Aus­tralian Yard Dog Cham­pi­onships next year at West Wya­long in NSW. A LIVE­STOCK car­rier ship was this week blocked from leav­ing Vic­to­ria with thou­sands of cat­tle on board.

The in­ci­dent is the lat­est to hit Aus­tralia’s live ex­port in­dus­try.

The ship, MV Jawan, set sail from Port­land bound for Mus­cat in Oman last Thurs­day but re­turned be­cause of “sta­bil­ity is­sues”.

The ship was seen rock­ing heav­ily off the Vic­to­rian coast.

Port of Port­land man­age­ment said the Aus­tralian Mar­itime Safety Au­thor­ity had blocked the ves­sel from sail­ing.

The MV Jawan had 4327 cat­tle on board.

A De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture spokesman this week said an­i­mals had been un­loaded from the ves­sel, which sails un­der the flag of Panama.

The spokesman said the ex­porter still in­tended to ship the cat­tle at a later date.

A vet­eri­nar­ian in­spected the cat­tle on board and found no health or wel­fare is­sues.

Mean­while, the first re­port from an in­de­pen­dent ob­server ap­pointed to over­see a ma­jor ship­ment of live sheep and cat­tle from Fre­man­tle to Is­rael in June made no ad­verse find­ings on animal wel­fare.

The ob­server gath­ered footage on the voy­age and made daily as­sess­ments of the treat­ment and con­di­tion of the an­i­mals aboard the Bahi­jah.

The Fed­eral Govern­ment re­leased a sum­mary of the re­port months after the voy­age.

On-board ob­servers are among the tougher new reg­u­la­tions on the in­dus­try, which has ex­pe­ri­enced a back­lash after rev­e­la­tions thou­sands of sheep died in hot con­di­tions on a voy­age to the Mid­dle East.

Live ex­ports were also a hot topic at the Red Meat 2018 event in Can­berra last week.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud and Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia’s out­go­ing manag­ing di­rec­tor Richard Norton came down hard on those do­ing the wrong thing.

Mr Norton said the ac­tions of a few had led to a back­lash in the com­mu­nity against the live sheep trade.

“If we do not chal­lenge our­selves as an in­dus­try, if we do not have the dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions, if we do not make the hard de­ci­sions, then ul­ti­mately the con­sumer, the com­mu­nity and the govern­ment will do it for us,” Mr Norton said.

He said some in the in­dus­try had wished “in­de­fen­si­ble be­hav­iour” in a do­mes­tic abat­toir would not be acted upon to avoid fur­ther reg­u­la­tion.

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