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Flash Demonstration Fremantle

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On a cool and windy Saturday morning, with rain threatening, 150 caring people made their presence felt on the Fremantle docks opposite the docked Ocean Drover. The Ocean Drover arrived in Fremantle on Thursday morning having sailed from Karachi in Pakistan, where it unloaded 22,000 sheep, minus the ones the traumatic 37 days at sea had taken the ultimate toll on.

Seventy five thousand sheep left Fremantle on 1 August, aboard the Ocean Drover; after unloading two other consignments totalling 53,000 sheep at other destinations, the remaining 22,000 sheep were rejected at their Bahrain destination, contrary to our MOU (Moratorium Of Understanding) with that country regarding the guaranteed unloading of all animals in a timely manner. Many of the sheep were infected with scabbymouth - a communicable viral infection that can be passed onto humans.

After two weeks floating round in the Red Sea in temperatures hovering around 40 degrees celsius (keep in mind that these sheep had just come from an Australian winter), they were re-routed to Karachi, Pakistan and unloaded to quarantine. As of Saturday 22 September, 53 days after departing Fremantle, they were still in quarantine feedlots, knee deep in mud, in hot and humid conditions and only just approved for slaughter for human consumption by a vet expert from Dubai. They will all have their throats cut whilst fully conscious, and there are reports that up to 2,000 of them have already been culled by Pakistani authorities in a manner breaching OIE standards.

August also saw 30,000 cattle exported to Egypt for slaughter held in feedlots, while Egyptian authorities decided whether or not they have a problem with the HGP (hormone promotant growth) implants that many of the cattle have. These cattle were inspected and approved for export by Egyptian authorities in Australia before they left.

The same month saw the Al Shuwaikh delayed from unloading 55,000 sheep in Kuwait, contrary to our MOU with that country and saw evidence released by Animals Australia, that 200 Australian sheep were slaughtered at the banned Al Rai market on Kuwait, in serious breach of the Exporters Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) implemented last year. Lyn White has described scenes at these meat markets as "... the worst cases of animal abuse I have seen in nine years of investigating."

Last week saw Indonesia defiantly reject 11,000 breeding cattle, many pregnant, on the grounds that the suppliers can not supply details of breeding history. These cattle cannot be returned to Australia, and if Indonesia does not change its mind, it is feared they will all be slaughtered for meat.

The previous week revealed a tragic case of tens of thousands of breeding sheep, cattle and goats sent to Al Waab farm in Qatar where many thousands of them, including heavily pregnant cows and newborn calves died prolonged and horrific deaths from thirst and starvation, in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees celsius. Breeding animals exported from Australia are not "protected" by ESCAS.

Katrina Love recapped on all the incidents of this year in the world of live exports and handed over to Lynn MacLaren, Greens MLC who spoke for 5 minutes about her and her party's stance on live exports, and Fremantle councillor recently endorsed by the Greens for the seat of Fremantle, Andrew Sullivan also took to the megaphone.

 Image Kate Greenfeld

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