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God forbid we offend the Saudis with a silly request for higher animal welfare standards. What does it say about an oil-rich Gulf country like Saudi Arabia when it indicates that it doesn't want to comply with supply chain assurances Australia is demanding before supplying, or that it doesn't want to be forced to comply with the requirements to meet the very low OIE standards which also makes up part of the ESCAS?

Saudi Arabia is already a member country of the OIE so what's the problem? Ego? Eliminating their ability to on-sell live animals if so desired? Or is it that animal welfare just isn't high on their list of priorities and they don't like that being pointed out?

We understand and appreciate that ESCAS is causing welfare issues for animals and hardship for producers, particularly in WA, but that could have been avoided had the government not rolled it though without consideration of the ramifications back here.

The solution is not to scrap ESCAS, the solution is for the government to more actively pursue alternative markets in the interim, whilst pursuing solutions to the reasons why producers currently have little-to-no domestic processing options. ESCAS is currently not protecting all animals exported from Australia, but it IS weeding out markets, which have a particular aversion to controls on the handling, slaughter and on-selling of animals... that's something at least.

Read article here.

Perth now live-sheep-trade

Photo: Perth Now

Yesterday, a small group of animal advocates opposed to live exports stood shoulder to shoulder with a larger group of people who have always been well at odds with us.

Stop Live Exports called for members and supporters to join us in presenting a message to Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Community Cabinet and Public Forum at Thornlie Senior High School, in the form of a well-signed and placarded group in front of the school gates.

There were less than 50 of us and although hard to accurately count, probably over 100 live export supporters.

There was one area for us to gather, and no way that the police were going to expend the energy and effort to separate us, so we mixed… we mingled… we stood in front of each other and competed to get our signs in front, but ultimately, we talked… and we listened.

There was some goading, there were some heated discussions, but for the most part, there was open and honest dialogue, the dispelling of some misconceptions, the exchange of business cards and even the exchange of a few jokes.


thornlie-community-cabinet perthnow
Pro-LE meet Stop LE at Thornlie. Photo: perthnow.com.au


I hope that some of the producers that I and some Stop Live Export members and supporters talked with felt heard and appreciated. We are not and have never been trying to ruin our primary producers – our farmers, pastoralists, graziers, growers… call them what you will – if they don’t exist, we don’t exist – I appreciate that they grow all the food I nourish my body with.

It became more evident to me yesterday than it has ever been, that they are just people trying to make a living doing what they love to do. I spent much of my childhood on my Uncle Ron’s sheep and wheat farm in Grenfell NSW – he was a crusty old bugger, but he had a heart of gold and I hate to think of him being in the situation now that many WA sheep farmers find themselves and wonder, were he still alive and living in WA instead of NSW, what would he do?

We are and always will be, passionately and vehemently opposed to exporting live animals, but there is and always will be in our lifetime, a demand for animal products; what we want to see is, the animals that are raised and slaughtered to provide those products treated as humanely as is humanly possible, and that does not include putting them on ships for three… four… five weeks to countries where we realistically have no control over their handling or slaughter.

Myself and Vanessa Williams, a long-time SLE member and live export opponent were registered for the public forum and Vanessa was able to ask her question of the Prime Minister. View the question and PM Julia Gillard's answer here.

We were very disappointed that the only mention of any animal welfare issues by the PM, were the ones exposed in Animals Australia & Four Corners’s exposé of the treatment of Australian cattle in several randomly selected Indonesian abattoirs. There was no mention of the nine serious animal welfare issues and/or ESCAS/ASEL breaches in Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, Pakistan or the plight of pregnant cows sent for slaughter in Mauritius.

I would urge everyone who feels strongly about the live export of animals, no matter which angle you are coming from, to stick to your guns, research the facts, speak only truth and listen also to the other side – we have a lot more in common than you may think. There has been initial contact between live export supporters and live export opponents, and several suggestions of coming together, joining forces and trying to address the concerns of both “sides” and lobby the government as one – create the best possible outcome for the animals and those who produce them.

We can’t eliminate cruelty, but I’m sure we can minimise it if we fight for what’s right and what’s required, rather than fighting each other.

Katrina Love
Coordinator, Stop Live Exports


One of Australia’s most respected and insightful Buddhist leaders, Abbot Ajahn Brahm, once said that the problem with seeking revenge is that you become a ‘victim of your own war’, in that you can often suffer as much ‘damage’ as the person to whom you are directing your revenge.

Read full article here.

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Mark I restraint box. Taxpayer-funded cruelty in Indonesia. Photo: Animals Australia

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ANTI-live export lobby group Vets Against Live Export have released a media statement this morning claiming recent reports of cruel treatment of Australian animals overseas have deflected attention away from conditions aboard live export ships.

Read full article here.

Bader head height

Sheep fair worse on ships with inanition but better with floor conditions. Photo: K. Love

It will be good to leave some countries with better welafre standards for some animals, than they had when Australia first introduced ESCAS. We can only hope that other exporting countries of live animals realise the peril, unreliability and poor ethics of transporting live animals long distances for slaughter and follow Australia's lead when we transition to a chilled only, 'dead export' trade.

Karachi feedlot sheep Wellard Rural Exports
Australian sheep in ESCAS-compliant feedlot in Karachi. Photo: Wellard

Read full article here.

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What kind of world are we living in when attempts to improve the treatment of and reduce the cruelty to other animals is viewed as extreme and problematic; where producers are tripping over themselves to send the animals they have raised and supposedly cared for to any market that will have them, regardless of those markets' willingness to accept and adhere to very basic standards for the "humane" handling and slaughter of livestock (if you can ever call cutting an animal's throat whilst fully conscious "humane").


The countries we export to (including Saudi Arabia) are all members of OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and yet balk at having to be seen to comply with OIE standards and allow traceability of animals into approved and audited slaughterhouses only.

Saudi sees ESCAS, which requires adherence to the very low OIE standards as "frustrating" - I find their acceptance of cruelty to and abuse of animals more than "frustrating" - it is unacceptable, as it is in any other country that slaughters animals for food, and those who don't embrace the opportunity to lessen suffering and improve welfare for these animals should be the first countries crossed of the list of acceptable destinations, on the road to the end to live animal exports. K Love

Read article here.

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The best thing that could happen for the long term welfare of animals and the long term security of producers in WA.

Full article here.

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Damara sheep in WA. Photo: abc.net.au

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MILANDA ROUT From: The Australian February 14, 2013 12:00AM

ANGER on Labor's backbenchers over live exports is building, with one outraged MP tabling a motion in federal parliament that calls for an immediate review of the government's animal welfare rules.

Just days after The Australian revealed that more sheep had been allegedly spotted for sale and slaughter in unaccredited markets in Kuwait - the second time in six months - Steve Georganas introduced a private members motion to condemn continual breaches of the export regulations.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie also expressed his anger over the $1 billion trade yesterday in parliament, saying he received "countless email, letters and phone calls" about the issue.

"The concern expressed is urgent and genuine and the community is sick to death of this government treating animal welfare as a persistent nuisance and paying it only passing concern," he said.

steve-georganas Daily Telegraph

Mr Georganas called on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to speed up its five investigations into claimed animal cruelty in Kuwait, Pakistan, Israel and Mauritius.

"Enough is enough. Time to end the cruelty," the South Australian MP, who wants to ban live exports in favour of a domestic processing market, said yesterday.

His motion asks the House of Representatives to note "the sustained level of public concern in the community" about live animal exports.

"(I call) on the minister ... to review the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System to ensure its integrity, efficacy and adequacy," the motion reads. "(And) support the urgent finalisation of all investigations into live exports being currently conducted by DAFF."

The motion also "condemns in the strongest possible terms" the inhumane slaughter of Australian sheep in Kuwait.

The government confirmed this week it was assessing information and photographs provided by Animals Australia showing Australian sheep being sold at Kuwait City's al-Rai livestock market and the Friday local market on January 17-18.

The claims come amid another investigation that sheep were mistreated at the same market last August. They also follow the suspicious deaths in Mauritius of 65 cattle, some of which were pregnant, and the brutal culling of thousands of sheep in Pakistan amid a trade dispute last September.

Julia Gillard and Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig have faced a revolt in their ranks over the live export issue since their decision to reopen the trade to Indonesia after a month-long suspension in June 2011.

The temporary ban - which devastated the live cattle industry in northern Australia - followed the release of disturbing footage showing Australian cattle being abused in Indonesian abattoirs.

DAFF told a Senate committee hearing this week they could not give a date for the conclusion of the five investigations.

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WAFarmers president Dale Park says "The livestock export trade is not only vitally important to WA livestock producers but it is crucial to the future of agriculture in this State, so the support of the State Government has been and will be imperative to secure its future."

I'd like to see the research that backs up Mr Park's claims that live export is "crucial to the future of agriculture in WA" - surely any method which sees a reliable market for the sheep they produce is what's "crucial" - how's the reliability of markets for live sheep working out so far? They're really reliable as long as they don't have to comply with any animal welfare improvements.

What is imperative, is for the State and Federal government to support the infrastructure and actions required to immediately head towards a phasing out of live exports and make local processing a viable and price-comparable option now, which actually has the ability to process the numbers required.

The main objection to this industry, from the majority of Australians is based on the inherent cruelty involved; THAT is the reason live animal export needs to be phased out. What is "crucial" to the long term welfare of any animals raised in Australia for human consumption is that they never be exported live on ships for overseas slaughter.

And what is "crucial" for all non-Australian animals who are similarly transported long distances and/or subjected to handling and slaughter methods that don't even meet the very low OIE standards, is for OIE to step up and get serious about compliance to their standards by member countries. this is a global issue, and an issue in which Australia needs to set an example - be part of the solution, not part of the problem. K Love

Read The West article here.

AA Oman trussed sheep

Trussed sheep awaiting slaughter in Oman. Photo: Animals Australia

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LIVE sheep exports will drop to their lowest level in more than 20 years in 2013 to about 2 million animals.

Given there were 6,257,120 sheep exported live in 2001, with a fairly steady decline (apart from 2008) since then, that's over 4 million animals that will be spared at least the horrific sea voyage of three, four or five weeks.

Full article here.

Sheep truck Klove WMRS

Posted by on in Latest Info

An animal welfare lawyer is stepping up calls for the live export trade to be banned, maintaining that mortality rates on live export voyages would be unacceptable if judged under domestic animal welfare laws.

Dr Malcolm Caulfield told a University of Tasmania forum in Hobart last month that Australia’s domestic animal cruelty and welfare laws make it an offence for people to fail to care for, or be cruel to, a single animal.

Read full article here.

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Note overhead clearance and stocking density on board the Bader III Jan 2013. Photo: K Love

Great piece by WSPA here.

 

 

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Image: WSPA

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THIS will always be a risk of the live animal export industry.

Transitioning to an expanded chilled-only trade eliminates the concerns of overseas animal welfare standards imposed on Australian animals (or lack of them); it eliminates the inherent risks associated with transporting tens of thousands of live animals distances of up to 13,000 km, taking as long as six weeks to complete, it eliminates the risk of trade restrictions, quotas and breeches of MOUs affecting animal welfare; it eliminates the Australian producers' reliance upon the whims and egos of importing countries.

Mr Wainwright's sheep may be shot thanks to Bahrain's decision to refuse a shipment of 22,000 sheep exported to them in August, despite our Memorandum Of Understanding with that country.

Bahrain feedlot AA
Australian sheep, Bahrain feedlot. Photo: Animals Australia


Undoubtedly, claims will be made that those of us who fight to eliminate the unavoidable cruelty associated with live exports, have somehow caused this tragic situation, by reporting, repeating and exposing the truth ... I will not be surprised to see individual animal advocates personally blamed by pro-live exporters for this tragic situation.

As horrific as it is to think of thousands of sheep being needlessly shot, I think it bears considering that they face a quicker, more pain-free death without the added trauma of a two to three-week sea voyage, than had they been shipped to Bahrain - they were after all bred for slaughter and surely a bullet to the head must be one of the more humane ways to slaughter a sheep?

Of course a more humane end for the them fails to address the financial situation Mr Wainwright finds himself in due to the unreliability and inconsistency of the live animal trade. K Love

Read article here.

One of the WA's biggest live sheep exporters says it is on target to resume shipments to Saudi Arabia this year, defying industry predictions that the crucial market will remain closed.

Read full article here.

Tomorrow evening, as crowds gather to join in the festivities of Australia Day, marvel at the fireworks display, and contemplate what it means to be a Aussie, tens of thousands of Australian sheep already sit on board the Bader III docked in Fremantle Harbour.

These sheep have not only been subjected to hours on a truck without food and water, but are now stuck in  cramped and unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar sights sounds, movements, smells and faces, whilst fireworks explode in close proximity.

Sticker shot for web
Get your free sticker - request via our website. To help us with costs, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to PO Box 499 Fremantle 6959 and we'll send you one sticker - put your preference on back of envelope.

Happy Australia Day to them - shoved on a ship for up to six weeks, bound for a foreign country which most likely has no animal welfare laws; a country where they will most likely be slaughtered in a manner that would be illegal here; a country where we realistically have no control over how animals sent from Australia are treated.

Hundreds of them won't even make it that far - they will succumb to stress, disease, trauma or simply fail to eat.

Happy Australia Day Aussie icon, on whose backs Australia is said to have grown and prospered. This is how we treat you. Anything for a buck.

And let's not forget our bovine buddies - already three ships in a week have left with thousands of gentle souls bound for Malaysia, Sumartra and Jakarta.

I am ashamed to be an Australian whilst this trade continues.

Katrina Love

This is not what Australia wants. This industry is a blight on Australia's international reputation. It is not in the best interests of the economy, not in the best interests of Australian jobs and value-adding, not in the best interests of sustainable and reliable industry and employment for the rural sector and definitely not in the best interests of the animals.

And we saw how the Memorandum Of Understanding with Bahrain worked out for the sheep on board the Ocean Drover at the end of August 2012 - sent to Pakistan to be massacred. A MOU is worth less than nothing.

ESCAS has proved to be worthless, with the same rate of exposed OIE breaches post ESCAS as before... maybe more.

So now WA exporters want to expand the market and start exporting sheep to Iran again... to the tune of one million sheep or more. Read the article here.

sheep distressed

"Mr Thomson has written to Indonesian Agriculture Minister Dr Suswona urging "appropriate action" after images emerged of cows in East Java being hoisted by a crane with ropes tied around their heads."

Full article here.

Cattle hoisted Juni Kriswanto Source AFP

Cattle hoisted by head ropes in Surabaya. Photo: Juni Kriswanto. Source: AFP

You'd be hard pressed to find an Australian who isn't aware of the fact that Australia exports sheep and cattle (amongst other animals) overseas for slaughter. But ask them if they're aware that Australia also exports greyhounds to Macau where they too end up slaughtered if they are not fast enough, or if they've just reached the end of their racing career.

Possibly worse - whilst used by the industry, most are kept in cages when not racing, sometimes drugged, and have no semblance of a life worth living for a dog.

Full article here.

greyhound causes com

Photo: causes.com

AUSTRALIA'S live export market needs to be overhauled, according to Animal Welfare Community Legal Centre principal lawyer Malcolm Caufield.

Speaking at Tasmania's first animal law conference in Hobart at the weekend, Dr Caufield wants to see live exports to the Middle East abandoned and an independent regulator set up.

Read full article here.

Al Shuwaikh 10Aug12 WM RS

Sheep on board the Al Shuwaikh in Fremantle August 2012. Photo: K Love

At a time when primary producers and state & federal governments should be diversifying and looking towards a future without live exports and an increase in locally processed chilled meat for export, the WA Farmers Federation is talking INCREASE in live exports.

Full article here.

sheep pakistan yahoo
Some of the Western Australian sheep massacred in Pakistan. Photo yahoo.com

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