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Posted by on in Latest Info

"The ban was lifted a month after it was introduced.

Indonesia subsequently introduced import quotas in an effort to lift the country's self-sufficiency, cutting Australian beef imports by 75 per cent."

Actually... Indonesia imposed a 350 kg weight restriction and cut quotas from 750,000 head to 420,000 (a 44% reduction) from 2009 to 2011 PRIOR to the five week suspension. After the suspension, they imposed a further 34% reductio, cutting quotas from 420,000 to 276,000. They never fail to forget to mention that.

They also ignore the fact that Australia was aware of Indonesia's goal for self sufficiency as early as 2007, yet failed to plan for the quota cuts in line with trying to achieve that self-sufficiency.

Indo abattoir rpe slaughter AA

Regardless of the quota cuts pre and post-suspension, the fact is, the exposure of the ongoing issues in Indonesian slaughterhouses led to a five week suspension, and that five week suspension led to the implementation of ESCAS and the increase in stunning rates for Australian cattle sent to Indonesia from 10% to 80-90% (and a flow on of stunning to non-Australian cattle). Under threat of industry closure, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) achieved in 18 months what they had been unwilling or unable to achieve in the previous 18 years; this indicates to us how seriously they took animal welfare - they were aware of all the issue that were exposed thanks to Lyn White, Animals Australia and Four Corners - they just did nothing about them until they were forced to. KL

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Posted by on in Latest Info

A fire broke out on board the Ocean Drover whilst docked at number 1 berth in Fremantle port this morning befor 8.00 AM. Thankfully no animals had yet been loaded, despite the ship having been in dock since 3 October. It has been reported that livestock trucks were removed from the dock due to the possibility of toxic smoke, so loading must have been imminent.

Apparently the fire broke out in crew's quarters -we hope they are all safe and accounted for.

OceanDroverFire1

OceanDroverFire2

Had this happened 24 hours later, or at sea, the outcome could have been catastrophic. There have been countless livestock ship disasters at sea which have seen thousands of animals die - from less than a hundred to the entire shipment - some from weather events, some from ventialtion breakdown, some from drowning, and these two (that we know about) from fire:

  • 1980 The total cargo (40,605 sheep) perish in a fire aboard the Farid Fares.
  • 1996 67,488 sheep died when fire broke out on board the Uniceb; 8 days elapsed before any rescue attempt was made.

Live animal export is not only inherently cruel, it is inherently risky; placing animals at increased risk for increased profit is just not morally justifiable.

We would speculate that the ship would now not be inhabitable without repairs and imagine that the cattle that were due to be loaded, bound for Indonesia, will be returned to the feedlot to await another Wellard vessel. The Ocean Outback is currently in Singapore and the Ocean Swagman in China. KL

As you are probably already aware, the Pearl of Para left Fremantle last Tuesday 3 September with 5240 cattle on board bound for Israel and returned to Fremantle waters on Monday 9 September with mechanical problems related to propeller shaft coupling system. It has been sitting in Cockburn Sound for three nights. It is expected that repairs will be carried out early next week and the cattle are still on board and it is stated by exporter that he would like them to remain on board.

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Pearl of Para in Fremantle port in June. Photo: K. Love


Whilst some may argue that unloading them and reloading them will add to their stress, one has to question the logic and particularly the consideration for animal welfare (so publicly touted by industry, exporters and particularly Alison Penfold of Australian Live Exporters' Council as being of paramount concern) behind adding two weeks minimum to a three week journey to Israel.

Shipping live animals by sea is not only inherently cruel, but also inherently risky - mechanical failure onboard ships is not common, but it happens. If it happens with a load of cars or coal, no biggie - the only possible loss is economic.

When it happens with live animals, the loss involves hundreds or thousands of lives, as evidenced aboard this very ship when mechanical failure saw somewhere between 400 and 1,000 (estimates vary) out of 3,400 breeding dairy cattle from one U.S. shipment die en route to Russia or be euthanized upon arrival due to their extremely poor condition. The deaths were attributed to a build up of ammonia fumes that appears to have been caused by a breakdown in manure removal and ventilation systems. It is worth noting that the ship is now carrying almost an extra 2,000 cattle compared to that ill-fated voyage.

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