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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

Link to full article

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.

PofPRSWM3
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.

More misinformation, disinformation and lies. National Nine News stated:

"Indonesia reduced its import quota after live exports were temporarily banned in 2011 when footage emerged of Australian cattle being mistreated in Indonesia.

The live export trade dropped from 660,000 head-a-year to 260,000."

Knowing this to be patently untrue, it prompted me to compare the actual percentage of reduction in quotas pre and post suspension.

CATTLE THE AGE

Image: The Age

Indonesia did in fact further reduce its quotas after the five week suspension of trade, but it wasn't from 660,000 to 260,000!

Quotas had already been dropped 30 % from 750,000 in 2009, to 520,000 in 2010 - over a year befor 4 Corners footage was shown.

There was another reduction from 2010 to 2011, still before the suspension, from 520,000 to 420,000 (19 %) in 2011.

So in fact, the reduction in quotas over the past two years since the suspension (420,000 to 260,000 = 38%), has been less than the reduction prior to the suspension 2009 to 2011 (44 %).

Alison Penfold says they are “doing everything they can to put the assurances in place” – they most certainly are doing a lot of assuring of the Australian public that animal welfare is of the utmost importance, and they have voluntarily suspended trade to Egypt, but if THEY are doing everything they can, why is it never the industry – the exporters, the suppliers or DAFF that is exposing the cruelty and abuse – why are there no spot inspections, or monitoring of the facilities? How do they KNOW what standards are being met and how good the animal welfare is, if they’re never there to catch the breaches?

By Alison’s very own admission, they have suspended trade to a country to which we haven’t exported cattle in about 10 months; a country with which the live cattle trade is estimated to be worth $25 million – not a huge sacrifice in the scheme of things, but yes, it does make them sound pro-active, when in fact they are being very REactive.

No one is suggesting the trade be banned overnight – anyone who has a basic knowledge of the industry knows the kind of horrific domestic animal welfare problems and financial impact for producers that would arise with an overnight ban. We are calling for a phase out of live exports over a three to five year period – with assurances that the money, the work, the infrastructure, the labour – everything that is required to process locally is in place before shutting down this trade.

As for supplying a demand “While ever the customer demands live animals for their own protein needs, surely it's Australia - surely Australia should be doing what it can to service those needs.” The “if we don’t do it someone else will” is a lame argument to justify a trade that is intrinsically wrong and inherently cruel. If we don’t make money out of supplying drugs to schoolchildren, someone else will… the analogies are endless. What about saying “if we don’t set an example and say we do not accept this treatment of animals during their slaughter, we are in fact condoning it" – by continuing to supply animals for slaughter to markets that continue to abuse those animals, we are sending a message to the world that Australia condones this treatment.

It’s wrong on so many levels – YES, Australia has the space, capacity and the expertise to grow top quality animals for human consumption – why then would we cram then on a ship for two…three… up to five weeks, and send them off to countries which struggle to meet and often fail to meet even the very low OIE standards that we have mandated for the handling and slaughter of those animals? Why would we ship offshore all the jobs and value adding that is associated with the supply of those animals? Why would producers NOT want to see their animals they claim to care about so much, slaughtered in Australian abattoirs, to Australian standards, in the most humane way possible and where there are at least SOME measures in place to try to minimise their suffering, and see the profits and jobs stay in Australia?

The sheep prices fell in the West and the flock numbers rose because of the loss of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and any other traditional markets for the Dorpas and Damaras that refused to, or did not meet ESCAS requirements – this is why we would say that a chilled only trade supplies the producer with a much more reliable and consistent market – it is not influenced by the red tape of having to meet handling and slaughter standards in importing countries, it is not hampered by the whims, vagaries, egos, political processes or corruption of importing countries

How can a chilled meat trade worth $7 billion possibly not absorb a live trade worth less than $1 billion if the time, effort and money is put into developing viable domestic processing for the animals that are currently exported live? Yes – importing countries can have all the Australian animals they want, but they MUST go on the hook and not on the hoof.

In the end, the fact is, there can realistically be no control over the handling and slaughter of animals once they leave this country - we owe them more than this. How many isolated incidents make up an epidemic?

Katrina Love, Stop Live Exports

alison penfold
Alison Penfold of the Australian Live Exporters Council's interview on ABC's LateLine - interview here.



Posted by on in Latest Info

By Bill Tatt at The Western Magazine
9 April 2013

Beef exports to the Middle East set a new record for the month of February when sales of 5463 tonnes were achieved by our processors. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran were major contributors to this surge with tallies of 2512 tonnes and 1112 tonnes respectively.

beef exports MLA
To 2012. Graphic: MLA


Brazil was the principal loser in these matters with the Saudis placing a ban on their beef in the latter end of 2012.

This was a dramatic fall for the South American country which, up until they were banned, had racked up 33,396 tonnes for the year.

To highlight how good this month was for our industry the five- year average for February stood at 272 tonnes and February 2012 saw a meagre 313 tonnes go to this particular country.

An aside to this upward trend is the continued necessity for producers to complete their NVDs  correctly and make sure question nine referring to Russian and Saudi Arabia eligibility is, along with the rest of the document, completed correctly.

Lambs, not to be outdone, rose to 9077 tonnes to the end of February for countries designated as the Middle East.

This was a rise of 54 per cent year- on-year and some 200 per cent up on the five- year average.

The United Arab Emirates remained the principal destination receiving 2344 tonnes in the first two months of 2013.

Live sheep exports are expected to be at their lowest in more than 20 years during 2012-2013.

This side of the industry is tipped by analysts to recover in the short to medium term to reach 2.4 million head by 2017-18.

At that point in time ABARE predicts that the Australian sheep flock will, they suggest, stablise at about 80 million head after growing slightly year on year from now to then.

world beef exporters the atlanticdotcom

To 2012. Graphic: The Atlantic

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