These "fact sheets" were recently circulated by the pro-live export faction. Get the "real facts", then get the REAL, real facts.
"FACT" SHEET No. 1 - see our comments below.
In 2011, Australia in fact exported 2,592,028 sheep (pretty basic fact to get wrong, but no biggie)
In 2011, Australia in fact exported 718,025 cattle (wrong again)
“99% of all animals arrived fit and healthy” – figures to support this? There are no figures for morbidity rates, so arguably, all suffer from sea sickness and or sea spray blindness, trauma and injury, but even ignoring that, many animals die after arrival and before the slaughterhouse, so a 1% mortality rate (in fact 0.15 for cattle and 0.74% for sheep that year) is very misleading. There have also been several vets come forward, who have said they were threatened into misreporting on board mortality rates.
BIGGEST LIE: Voyages to the Middle East actually take between 14 and 38 days and one voyage to Turkey in 2011 took 41 days – these voyage times are calculated from the last port in Australia, to the first port of offloading, so a shipment that leaves Portland, stops at Fremantle, then stops at Doha, Bahrain and Kuwait to unload could actually take more than 41 days for the first sheep loaded, if that sheep is one of the last offloaded.
Voyages to China take up to 24 days (Oct 2011, Portland to Tianjin)
In 2011, 19,212 sheep and 1067 cattle died en route, with an estimated 47% of those dying from inanition (failure to eat).
Again – 99% of all animals (and this is arguable given that on board vets have revealed that they were threatened into fudging the figures) arrived alive – there is no proof that any of them arrived fit and healthy. Sheep have between 0.261 and 0.575 m² each, depending on weight, with no room to walk freely, run or exercise.
Since ESCAS was implemented late last year, there has been one instance of confirmed breaches (46 breaches of the OIE standards for handling and slaughtering cattle) in 2 ESCAS-accredited abattoirs in Indonesia in February 2012, two probable (currently under review) – 200 Australian sheep slaughtered at the banned Al Rai meat markets in Kuwait in August, and of course the 20,000 sheep massacred in Karachi in Sept/Oct, which ended up there after Bahrain ignored the MOU we have with that country, and now an official complaint has been made to DAFF over evidence that Australian cattle were illegally rope-slaughtered outside an ESCAS-accredited abattoir in West Java.
Then of course there was the debacle of 30,000 cattle held in feedlots in Egypt for eight weeks (July – Sept) because of fears over HGP implants DESPITE those cattle being inspected in Australia and approved for export by EGYPTIAN authorities. 55,000 sheep were delayed from unloading in Kuwait in August despite our MOU with that country and thousands of Australian breeding cattle, sheep and goats died horrific deaths from starvation, thirst and heat stroke on the Al Waab farm in Qatar (breeding animals are not officially “protected” under ESCAS.
Australia obviously might try to regulate animal welfare, but it is realistically not possible to control the handling and slaughter of animals once they leave this country.
All jobs except for the live export companies themselves, would still be required for an expanded chilled meat trade: farmers/pastoralists/graziers, stock hands, drovers, pilots, shearers, truckies, wharfies, vets, PLUS the meat workers, packers, fork lift drivers and all those involved with the value adding that occurs with locally processed animals, in the hide, fertiliser, gelatine, bone industries.
The Acil Tasman report commissioned by WSPA in 2011 proved that a sheep processed in WA is worth 20% more to the economy, than one sent offshore for processing.
The AMIEU estimates 45,000 jobs have been lost in the meat processing industry since the trade began – 1,000 in the 2010 alone.
No argument there.
Numerous other polls have shown public support of up to 80% for a phase out of live exports. One of the recent polls they are citing, indicated that 54% of respondants would be in favour of live export continuing, as long as the animals went to countries "which can guarantee they will be treated humanely" - we can't even guarantee that they will be treated humanely here, in fact no country can. So by that rationale, 54% of respondants are in favour of live export continuing to NO countries!