The economic realities of the Live Export Industry
Animal Welfare Emergency/Truckwatch
In an Animal Welfare Emergency, please call to:
For an animal welfare emergency regarding livestock or do to with live exports, please call the Animal Welfare Unit (24 hour service) 1300 303 464
Please also contact us to advise us of your report so we can follow this up for you.
Please note that the Animal Welfare Unit (a Government Agency) is WA is under severe pressure as the State Government has not provided adequate funding. Please click here to find out more about the Animal Welfare Unit and how you can take action.
For other animal welfare concerns, please call RSPCA WA on (08) 9209 9300 or 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589)
Anyone living south of Perth is aware of the sheep trucks on our roads, and would have witnessed animals with limbs protruding from the trucks and downed animals.
You may wish to download a Truckwatch Glove Box guide for sheep trucks and report any findings to us for follow up with the appropriate authorities.
Doing a class project on animal protection?
More information coming soon!
Countryman Oct 4
Kimberley pastoralist Jack Burton's company Yeeda Pastoral plans to set up an export-accredited abattoir 110km from Broome.
The abattoir has been delayed due to the Australian Government's love of red tape and ludicrous regulations.
The question the Australian public should be asking is why our own government is not supporting Australian companies wishing to process live stock at home.
Join Stop Live Exports and Animals Australia this Saturday, 6 October, 10am, EShed, Fremantle
A LONDON lab will test Aussie sheep on death row in Pakistan after a Pakistani High Court ordered tests to discover whether they are diseased.
Samples taken from the remaining 11,300 sheep from a shipment of more than 20,000, recently rejected from Bahrain due to health concerns, will be analysed by British pathologists on the orders of the Sindh High Court.
The animals' fate will be decided by October 17, or perhaps sooner, depending on the timing of test results.
It appears the rest of the shipment from Perth-based exporter Wellard has been culled - stabbed, clubbed and even buried alive by Pakistani disease control authorities.
But a Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry spokesman said it was difficult to determine how many of the animals were destroyed inhumanely as Wellard employees were ordered to leave the sheep holding facility during the cull.
Wellard said the surviving sheep will be in the combined care of its Australian staff and Pakistan importer PK Livestock until their fate is decided.
The situation in Pakistan is not only horrific but could have easily been avoided. Thanks to DAFF, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forrestry, rushing through Wellard's clearance to export to Pakistan, australian sheep have been brutally slaughtered and tossed into a hole.
Eight economic reasons why live exports are unsustainable
The last few weeks have revealed several live export tragedies that once again cement the fact that live exports are inherently cruel to animals. Not only is this trade cruel but we have highlighted eight economic reasons as to why it is unsustainable for Australia and our farmers.
1. We only export to a few markets: Live exporters don’t have many major markets that they export to. In 2010 almost 90 percent of exported sheep went to the Middle East. About 72 percent went to just three countries. A frozen and chilled meat trade would provide farmers with more markets to export to and eliminate the animal welfare risks associated with the live trade
2. The public are against it – The live export trade is risky because it has very little social licence to operate in Australia. People from all walks of life, including an ever growing number of Members of Parliament want to move to the alternatives.
3. Importing countries can make life difficult – Importing countries themselves present risks to live exporters and these risks flow onto farmers. Indonesia has severely reduced the number of animals it will take causing a big problem for northern Australian cattle farmers. Onshore processing does not present this high level of risk as we can export to more places
4. The sheep trade is based on trade distortions – The live sheep trade is risky for farmers as it is based largely on huge subsidies paid by some importing countries in the Middle East – if these subsidies were removed for any reason, it could severely reduce the demand for live sheep.
5. Australian businesses are negatively affected – Abattoirs in Australia continue to reduce their operating hours because some of the stock they need to process to be viable are going to the live export trade instead. This means fewer jobs and less job security for Australians in rural and regional areas. What happens if more abattoirs close and in turn means fewer options for farmers to send their stock to
6. There is one disaster after another –Over the years there have been so many disasters along the way and they just keep coming. Just two weeks ago, sheep were rejected from Bahrain and spent two additional weeks at sea waiting for somewhere to go. They ended up in Pakistan where there are further dramas and they may be culled. This reflects badly on Australia as a whole
7. People want frozen and chilled meat not live animals – Demand for chilled and frozen meat is growing in the Middle East. Customer preference is changing – people in the Middle East want to go to the supermarket to buy meat just like everyone else
8. It’s simply un-economic – It is worth more to our country to process the animals in Australia in a more humane way and spare the animals the long and torturous journey.
A ‘State of the Nation’ report into animal welfare in Australia has emerged as one of the key priorities for the next year following the gathering of more than 120 delegates in Canberra for the sixth national workshop of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS).
AAWS is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and is overseen by an Advisory Committee to inform Minister Joe Ludwig on developments in animal welfare, however it has no regulatory powers.
The implementation of the AAWS and its success is a shared responsibility with state and territory governments, industry, animal advocacy groups and others who need to provide resources for improvements to come to fruition. AAWS members come together under six working groups and three cross-sectoral working groups: Animals in Research & Teaching; Work, Sport, Recreation & Display; Native & Introduced Animals; Livestock & Production Animals; Pets & Companion Animals; Aquatics; Research & Development; Education and Training, and Communications.
Report From Latest Protest
A flash protest at Fremantle port attracted 150 people calling for an end to live exports opposite the berthed Ocean Drover on Saturday morning.
With the recent debacles in Pakistan indicating a trade “falling apart at the seams”, Lynn MacLaren MLC, Greens spokesperson on Animal Welfare, Ms MacLaren called on the State Government to get farming families out of this failing trade.
“It’s transition time,” said Ms MacLaren, speaking at the demonstration. “The writing has been on the table for a long time now: delayed shipments, stranded animals. New Federal animal welfare regulations aren’t able to prevent the horrific levels of morbidity and mortality on shipments.
“Sheep suffer and die on these ships because they grow weak and starve to death. Vulnerable to disease, ammonia gases, and the oppressive heat and humidity of a northern hemisphere summer, some become so distressed that they no longer eat.
“The sheep eventually unloaded in Pakistan, whose condition remains unclear, had been 37 days at sea. It’s outrageous.
“This is a dirty business in which so many have suffered and died. In light of the events now unfolding in Pakistan, the fate of these animals is anyone’s guess. The Government’s revamped regulatory system is still unable to ensure basic animal welfare outcomes.
Fremantle City Councillor Andrew Sullivan, Greens candidate for the seat of Fremantle, told the crowd that the trade has changed much over the years and his meeting with federal regulators in town last week revealed fatal flaws remain in the new system.
New shipments have raised the ire of the public.
“The Ghena loaded cattle and left Fremantle on 19 September. The Ocean Drover was due to begin loading sheep on Friday. The State Government couldn’t confirm their destinations in answer to my question in Parliament on Thursday. That’s been a big part of the whole problem of this nasty business. No one can say where they’ll end up. No one can say how long they’ll suffer on board.
“The State Government needs to put in place transition for the industry. Live export is on the way out. Farmers and their families shouldn’t be financially worse off. WA actually has a surplus of abattoir capacity. Let’s keep the value adding of processing meat here. If there’s going to be some negative economic impacts over the mid-term, as the Government claims, let’s put in place industry support to get over that. After that, everyone benefits. It’s a no-brainer.
“An industry based on frozen meat export can handle the vagaries of the international political climate. If a country changes its mind about receiving goods, despite memorandums of understanding in place, no animal suffers on a ship, no loss is incurred through disease and death.
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However, the premier conceded that the live trade industry was on a downhill as markets shift to a more Western style of consuming meat. In anticipation of the decline, WA is persuading Gulf states to increase their investment in WA sheep farming while the state's abattoirs would promote export of refrigerated and frozen meat instead.