Live export vessel veterinarian reports injuries, standards breaches

tightly stockedThe recent mistreatment of Australian animals overseas has been the source of much consternation in recent months, deflecting attention from conditions on live export ships.

A veterinarian who has spent 13 years working on live export voyages has made a submission to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) review in to Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), which alleges that some in the industry are more concerned with profits than animal welfare.

Lynn Simpson, who has been an accredited on-board veterinarian for 57 live export voyages, as well as having peripheral feedlot, loading and transportation experience, described the suffering of animals resulting from exporters allegedly ignoring the law.

β€œIt should be appreciated that these voyages are not all short and clean as depicted by industry and their public relations machine,” she said. Continue reading Live export vessel veterinarian reports injuries, standards breaches

DAFF labelled ‘out of touch’ over exports

Veterinarian Lloyd Reeve-Johnson has called for an overhaul of what he describes as systemic flaws in the Australian government’s live export system.

Reeve-Johnson from Pacific Animal Consulting and Agribusiness visited Mauritius at the request of Animals Australia to report on the status of cattle exported from Australia on the MV Barkly Pearl in October.

Animals Australia became aware of welfare problems on the voyage after being approached by a Mauritian importer. The exporter was Australian company South East Asian Livestock Services.

Reeve-Johnson stated that his investigation revealed significant problems including misleading paperwork.

He is also concerned that the Mauritian slaughter facilities fail to comply with the OIE recommendations sought to be imposed by Australian live export law.

The primary reason the importer was concerned was that a number of the imported livestock were pregnant and therefore unacceptable for slaughter under Mauritian law.

Australian live export standards also demand that cattle sourced for export as slaughter animals must be determined not to be pregnant by testing no more than 30 days before export and certified by the registered veterinarian or pregnancy tester.

β€œI have worked internationally with livestock for 20 years and am a great supporter of productivity and commercial enterprise, yet I cannot think of any other commercial situation where there has been less transparency in the paperwork or such repeatedly inadequate oversight,” Reeve-Johnson said. Continue reading DAFF labelled ‘out of touch’ over exports

Rough waters for AQIS as live export criticism continues

The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) has conceded a live exporter acted inappropriately when a stockman was not present on board a voyage from Fremantle to Singapore.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) said the report by the AQIS Accredited Veterinarian (AAV), Lloyd Reeve-Johnson, demonstrated that he was able, in conjunction with the crew of the vessel, to deliver the level of care that a stockman would have delivered as well as perform his other responsibilities.

Vets Against Live Export (VALE) has accused AQIS of coming to an illegal informal agreement with International Livestock Exports to remove Reeve-Johnson from the 2008 voyage. Continue reading Rough waters for AQIS as live export criticism continues

Accumulation of ammonia and other potentially noxious gases on live export shipments from Australia to the Middle East

Noxious gases on ships are irritant pollutants that have potential impacts on the comfort and health of both livestock and humans. Identification of environmental influences on the pollutants will assist live exporters to control them.

Ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, as well as wet and dry bulb temperature, dew point, air speed and depth of faeces that the sheep stood in, were measured on two ship voyages in which sheep were transported from Australia to the Middle East. Continue reading Accumulation of ammonia and other potentially noxious gases on live export shipments from Australia to the Middle East