Rocky times continue as cattle ship detained
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.