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THE WA Livestock Exporters Association has defended the James Point Port Project against accusations by South Metropolitan MLC Lynn MacLaren that the project should not go ahead based on the “discredited” live export trade.

Full article here.

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Al Shuwaikh loading in Fremantle. Photo: K Love

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Nope... nothing. Not one word of thanks to Lyn White and Animals Australia. If it wasn't for them, stun rates would still be at 10%, and little Steph's Indonesian adventure would have been full of images of whipping, beating, eye-gouging, tail-breaking, roped slaughter and mostly unstunned throat-cutting, though I doubt she would have been brave enough to face what Lyn White endured.

It took the bravery of Lyn White facing situations like a steer with a partially severed head charging towards her, or witnessing the prolonged abuse of many other individual steers to get the evidence that was instrumental in achieving a vast improvement in the conditions in Indonesian abattoirs, to which Australian animals are now sent; to get MLA and the government/DAFF to do in 12 months what they couldn't or wouldn't do in 18 years.

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Roped slaughter 2011, now prohibited under ESCAS. Photo: Animals Australia

In July last year, Steph missed the boat so to speak, when she boarded the Ocean Drover for a leisurely 15 day voyage to Bahrain. Had she boarded the same vessel on its very next voyage out of Fremantle, she would have found herself on a 37 day voyage to hell, and her blog photos may have been a little different; this was the voyage that carried 22,000 of the original 75,000 sheep to their final destination and massacre in Karachi, Pakistan, after being rejected by Bahrain contrary to our Memorandum of Understanding with that country, due to a scabbymouth outbreak.

Just lucky I guess... sure makes for slanted representation.

Katrina Love

Read about Steph's latest sanitized adventure here.

It seems the reports coming from some proponents of live exports, that there was a glutt of lamb and sheep meat in the market and Australia can't offload more, might be not quite accurate.

"THE Middle East accounted for almost 100,000 tonnes of Australian sheepmeat last year.

Record exports in November established the region as Australia's No.1 lamb destination for the third year in a row."

Read full article here.

sheep distressed

Photo: Animals Australia

A point well worth noting that I have really not heard raised yet, is that INDONESIA IS A MEMBER COUNTRY OF OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health).

From OIE standards Chapter 7.5 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code:
"Animals should be handled in such a way as to avoid harm, distress or injury. Under no circumstances should animal handlers resort to violent acts to move animals, such as crushing or breaking tails of animals, grasping their eyes or pulling them by the ears. Animal handlers should never apply an injurious object or irritant substance to animals and especially not to sensitive areas such as eyes, mouth, ears, anogenital region or belly. The throwing or dropping of animals, or their lifting or dragging by body parts such as their tail, head, horns, ears, limbs, wool, hair or feathers, should not be permitted. The manual lifting of small animals is permissible."

"The OIE standards provide an international benchmark to improve animal welfare outcomes for its Member countries. These standards promote low stress livestock handling and highlight the importance of understanding innate animal behaviours and using experienced and competent people to handle and move farm animals." Peter Thornber DAFF

OIE standards for the handling and slaughter of livestock, is the highest level of welfare for animals that our government has demanded for Australian animals exported to Indonesia and all other 41 destination countries. Some animals will be handled in a manner as good as or better than Australia's standards, but most will not.

As low as the OIE standards are (allowing slaughter by cutting the throat of any conscious animal including cattle and camels), Indonesia can reduce the minimal protection those standards offer, by either ignoring them altogether, or interpreting those standards and codes in a manner that allows such handling of large animals.

It adds a whole other level of insufficiency to the standards mandated by our government. If it wasn't so tragic, it would be laughable.

Katrina Love

Cattle hoisted Juni Kriswanto Source AFP
Photo: Juni Kriswanto. Source: AFP

Tagged in: stop live exports

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MP protests over live cattle cruelty

From the Australian 9 January 2013. By Miranda Rout

OUTSPOKEN Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has written to the Indonesian Agriculture Minister expressing his concern about "distressing and confronting" images of cattle being lifted by a crane with ropes tied around their heads.

Mr Thomson, one of the ALP's strongest critics of the $1 billion live export trade, said in the letter he hoped Suswono (who goes by one name) would take appropriate action over the photographs of Indonesian cattle being transported in East Java. The pictures have outraged local animal welfare activists.

The backbencher's move follows last year's Indonesian live cattle export crisis, when the Gillard government temporarily banned the cattle trade.

Cattle hoisted Juni Kriswanto Source AFP

A group of cows is shown with their necks painfully outstretched as workers load cattle in Surabaya, East Java.
Picture: Juni Kriswanto
Source: AFP

Political concern has been building in Australia over the fate of a shipment of cattle that was sent to Mauritius with pregnant cows on board, with Labor and Greens MPs expressing dismay over claims of significant discrepancies in the paperwork.

The Australian revealed the government was investigating possible breaches of regulations after the shipment was sent in October, despite Australian authorities stating none of the cattle onboard were pregnant.

Sixty-five of the cattle were later found dead in the Mauritian feedlot and local police are investigating the deaths, amid claims they were poisoned.

Animals Australia claims the ship's master reported no deaths on board, but the exporter's "accredited stockman" said at least 18 cattle died en route.

Mr Thomson said yesterday he was concerned about both incidents, having written to Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig about the shipment to Mauritius and now to Dr Suswono about the graphic images, shot by AFP, in Indonesia.

The photographs show a crane transferring three bony cows from a boat in the eastern Javanese city of Surabaya using a loop of rope around their skulls. Another image portrays seven live cows being lifted with their necks outstretched.

"I found them distressing and confronting," Mr Thomson said. "I hope the Indonesian government takes appropriate action in this case. I hope it will demonstrate in its enforcement of laws against animal cruelty its commitment to appropriate standards of animal welfare."

"This is yet another disturbing example of why independent oversight of this cruel industry is necessary," West Australian MP Melissa Parke said.


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Brazil has animal activists and advocates too. And India, and Indonesia and Argentina...

This is a global issue, not a case of saving Australian animals and damn the rest - animals HAVE no nationality.

Some countries may replace some Aussie live animals with animals from other suppliers (if they don't care about FMD), and some will increase their chilled meat imports from Australia.

Ultimately, international pressure will force the OIE to raise standards and ban all live exports.

All animals must be slaughtered as close as possible to origin.

Read article here.

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A fresh war of words has broken out between the Greens and industry groups over a proposed live export facility in Kwinana, after a key Nationals MP called on the WA Government to speed its development.
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Sheep on board the Al Shuwaikh. Photo: K Love

Read full article here.

UNBELIEVABLE! Since the implementation of ESCAS in late 2011, there have already been (counting the latest pregnant cows to Mauritius scandal) six breaches, with even more trade disputes, rejections and other animal welfare issues. Already they want it to be MORE FLEXIBLE?!?!

Article here.

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Skipper, exporter clash over lost cattle

From the Australian 7 January 2013. By Miranda Rout

CONCERN over a shipment containing pregnant cattle sent to be slaughtered in Mauritius is set to deepen with new claims there were discrepancies in the numbers of deaths reported to authorities during the voyage from Australia.


The Gillard government is investigating possible breaches of export regulations after the shipment of 2061 cattle was sent last October with some pregnant cows despite Australian authorities providing paperwork that none of the stock was in that condition.

Sixty-five of the cattle were later found dead in the Mauritian feedlot and local police are investigating the suspicious circumstances around the deaths, amid claims they were poisoned.

The inquiries are being undertaken amid a dispute between Australian exporters and Mauritian importers. This latest controversy has led to renewed questions about the $1 billion trade, given it comes just months after the brutal culling of thousands of sheep in Pakistan.

cattle ship

Documents obtained by Animals Australia show the ship's master declared to the Mauritian government there were no deaths on the voyage in "Statement of No Mortality" lodged on October 19.

But in the "Accredited Stockman's End of Voyage Report" lodged a few days later by the Australian exporter, South East Asian Livestock Services, it states there were at least 18 deaths.

The end of voyage report, also seen by The Australian, reveals two steers, one bull, three heifers and 12 cows died during the voyage.

Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White said this was not the first time there was misreporting of mortality figures.

"Not only were pregnant cattle shipped, but there is evidence to support that false declarations have been made relating to this voyage -- including by the ship's master, who declared to the Mauritian government that no cattle died during this voyage -- when at least 18 died en route," she said. Ms White also said a representative of Animals Australia visited the only abattoir in Mauritius and was shocked to discover that the traditional "roping and hoisting is the method of restraint and slaughter".

"For exporters to continue to ship animals to such appalling slaughter methods despite the public outcry over Indonesia is disgraceful," she said.

A spokesman for South East Asian Livestock Services said they did not wish to comment due to the ongoing Department of Agriculture and Fisheries investigation into the shipment except to confirm they alerted Australian authorities to the mortalities by lodging the end of voyage accredited stockman report.

"We advise that our formal 'end of voyage' report was provided to DAFF on October 22 and stated there were 18 mortalities during the voyage," he said.

"This represented a mortality rate of less than 1 per cent. The formal Australian Maritime Safety Authority report containing this figure was also provided to DAFF."

The spokesman said Mauritius was not subject to the new animal welfare requirements at the time of the shipment but new equipment that complied with international standards has since been commissioned for the abattoir.

Labor MP Kelvin Thomson is writing to Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig to insist he ensure the inquiry addresses the accuracy of reporting to and by authorities.



Those who think the battles will ever end, the exposés will stop coming, the cruelty will abate, or that those of us with a moral compass will ever stop fighting for an end to this outdated, unsustainable, unreliable and immoral trade in suffering are in for a shock.


Live animal exports are Australia's shame - cruel to animals, unreliable for producers, bad for the economy, and shipping jobs offshore - not 10,000 jobs as is claimed to be produced by this trade (most of which would still be required with an expanded chilled meat export trade and domestic processing), but arguably 250,000 jobs, when taking into account abattoirs, meat packaging, yarding, feedlotting, leather tanning, leather manufacturing, meat distribution, package manufacturing, meat grading dyes, meat and bone cutting implements, organic fertilisers, casein, meat inspection officers, butcher’s supplies, freezing, works uniforms and laundry services, transport services, and retail, to name a few.

Read Farm Weekly article here.



Scandal hits live export trade as pregnant cattle are shipped

From the Australian 7 January 2013. By Miranda Rout

THE $1 billion live export trade has been hit with another animal welfare scandal, with the suspicious deaths of 65 cattle after a shipment containing pregnant cows was sent to Mauritius.

The pregnant cattle were sent last year despite Australian authorities providing paperwork that none of the stock were in that condition.

Just months after the brutal culling of thousands of sheep in Pakistan led to renewed calls to ban live exports, the Gillard government is investigating possible breaches of its regulations amid a dispute between Australian exporters and Mauritian importers.

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Cattle loading. Photo

The most serious issue is why government paperwork stated that none of the 2061 cattle that left Australia on October 5 were pregnant when two cows allegedly gave birth during the usual 10-day voyage, four cows were found to be pregnant when slaughtered and further testing revealed many more cattle pregnant in the feedlot.

The Certificate of Health to Accompany Animals, issued by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and seen by The Australian, states that "none of the female cattle were pregnant at the time of export", but animal welfare groups say this is false and have questioned how it could have happened.

The Australian exporter, South East Asian Livestock Services, also reported to DAFF on November 21 that a "small percentage of heifers" were found to be pregnant despite being manually pregnancy-tested before departure or spayed in accordance with regulations.

The importer was furious when it discovered the cattle were pregnant, because it is illegal in Mauritius to slaughter animals in that condition. It is not in Australia, but exporters must notify authorities of any pregnant cattle.

The importer also claimed the shipment was deliberately delayed to miss a crucial selling period and 65 cows were later found dead in the feedlot in suspicious circumstances. Local police are now investigating how the cattle died and allegations they may have been poisoned.

Animals Australia -- which was contacted by a representative of the importer at the same time the exporter reported the potential breach to DAFF -- sent a veterinary surgeon to Mauritius who confirmed cows had been pregnant "despite the official Australian government health certificate stating otherwise".

Campaign director Lyn White said Animals Australian lodged a complaint with DAFF asking why the pregnant cattle were not detected.

"Regulations require that pregnant cattle are provided with additional space and bedding," she said. "These cattle were given neither, endured very heavy seas and two poor animals even gave birth on board with their calves then killed."

She said the welfare implications for these animals were severe and completely unacceptable.

"Not only were pregnant cattle shipped . . . now there are allegations that 65 cattle have died mysteriously in the feedlot," Ms White said.

A spokesman for South East Asian Livestock Services maintained no pregnancies were recorded by the certifying vets at the time of departure. "(We) had all appropriate certification from veterinarians and vendors, verified by DAFF, prior to the vessel being loaded," he said.

A DAFF spokesman confirmed the department was investigating the matter and said it would fully co-operate with local Mauritian authorities if requested.





Beef Central don't seem to want to publish my comments anymore... I can't imagine why:

ESCAS was never introduced to safeguard the welfare of livestock - it was introduced to safeguard the industry in the event of another "Indonesia" (and boy, we sure have had them). But no need to shut down the entire cattle export industry again - just slap a fine on NACC (North Australia Cattle Company) and Perth-based ILE (International Livestock Exports) and carry on as usual.

No need for the entire sheep export industry to suffer in the case of the Pakistan massacre, or the slaughter of Australian sheep in the banned Al Rai meat market in Kuwait - just fine the companies involved and carry on.

The only strong message blanket ESCAS sends is that Australia is willing to send you animals to slaughter as you see fit, as long as you let us track them.


It's even being self-policed, and if it wasn't for a non-government funded animal advocacy organisation checking on this billion-dollar industry, I doubt if any of the horrors apart from Pakistan would have come to light.

As MP Kelvin Thomson said, "...ESCAS is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff..."

What Australia really needs to do, is stop pushing millions of animals off the cliff every year.

Read the article here.

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"DAFF takes all allegations of ESCAS breaches seriously," says a DAFF spokesperson, despite the fact that here we are at the end of 2012, and investigations into only one of five breaches OF ESCAS this year has been completed. If ESCAS is working so well, why is it so hard to confirm that Australian cattle were abused at an abattoirs in Jakarta or that sheep were slaughtered at the banned Al Rai meat market in Kuwait, and why haven't the exporters involved in those breaches plus two others in Pakistan and Indonesia (again) been penalised?

Read article here.

sheep distressed

Do we really want to be sending more cattle to these two high risk markets? Past investigations have shown abhorrent cruelty to animals in the handling and slaughter of both sheep and cattle in Turkey (graphic footage) in July/August 2011 and Israel in August 2011 and November/December 2012 (post ESCAS (graphic footage)).

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Excessive use of electric prodders on Australian cattle in ESCAS-approved abattoir in Israel. Photo:L Animals Australia



In 2007, 3,500 Australian cattle were caught up in an Israeli agriculture and veterinary workers strike in January. The cattle were delayed, then unloaded into quarantine feedlots, but without standard veterinary health checks. Half were destined for Israeli slaughterhouses, and the rest were to be transported to the Palestinian Territories.

In 2005, Australian cattle offloaded in Israel from the Bader III were held up for some 24 hours in heat at the border crossing with the Palestinian Authority. Local animal advocates documented the distressed animals who had received no food and water during their truck journey or delay at the crossing.

In 2002

, the Israeli Government reported that in July, cattle and sheep on the M.V. Maysora arrived from Australia and experienced heat, unloading and transport delays, and were delayed at border crossings. Some 200 cattle died, most after arrival. Israel temporarily halted all imports of Australian cattle for several weeks until the delays and transport problems were said to be 'resolved'.

Read Beef Central article here.







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Voiceless - "Until animal cruelty stops, we won't either."

Video here.

cattle truck

The world would be a darker, crueler place for animals without the tireless efforts of everyone at Animals Australia.

Check out their year in review here.

lyn white

Photo: Animals Australia

Or will it just be a short-lived destination for Australian cattle?

THE decision to expand the trade in live animals to Vietnam stripped the final layer of credibility from declarations that animal welfare is at the heart of the live exports industry.

Full story here.

cattle ship


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Jonny Warrington's footage from the Human Chain, 18 November 2012 HERE!

kate full bridge

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This Christmas, put some thought into the card for that special someone. Send Federal Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig a heartfelt Christmas greeting on this ready to print Christmas card (not seen below).

sheep tied power of man

Brutal treatment and handling of of Australian cattle in Israel was exposed in August last year - it's not like it's a shock that we find cattle being abused in an Israeli abattoir.

We are outraged, saddened and ashamed, but we are not surprised; as long as live animals are sent to countries that have even less regard for them as sentient beings than we do in Australia, this footage, of this type of treatment will continue to emerge.

As MP Kelvn Thompson recently articulated "ESCAS is functioning like an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff" what we need is a fence at the top of the cliff, and that fence should be a refusal from all countries, to export live animals anywhere.

See ABC report and footage here. WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES.

cattle israel animals aus

Australian cattle in Israel. Photo: Animals Australia

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