‘Highest animal welfare standards’ in the world is a phrase which is touted by a government in support of the live export trade.

Here are some examples of what this actually means:


MV "MAYSORA”: October 2006

The MV “Maysora” left Australia on October 18, 2006, having loaded 4,657 cattle in Portland on October 12 and 13, and a further 3,148 in Fremantle on October 17.


When Livestock Shipping Services’ 27 year old “Maysora”, a ship with a lengthy history of animal welfare disasters, arrived in Israel, 248, or 3.18% of the young cattle were either dead on the ship or died soon after arrival.

The Industry’s OWN Standard states that;

Bos taurus cattle bred in an area of Australia south of latitude 26 degrees south must not be sourced for export to the Middle East from May to October unless an agreed livestock heat stress risk assessment indicates that the risk is manageable. [less than a 2% risk of 5% mortality]

It is suspected that these cattle were in fact Bos Taurus cattle and that they were sourced south of latitude 26 degrees south, and that they may not have been help in feedlots for the statutory period. Letters sent to ALL the authorities concerned seeking clarification were completely ignored. We asked for information about the “heat/stress” modelling conducted and why this type of cattle was loaded at this time of the year.

Animals Australia has since been able to access the AQIS report, albeit heavily edited. The report reveals:;

  • 4657 cattle were loaded on the “Maysora” in Portland (12/13 Oct 06), and 3148 cattle were then loaded in Fremantle (17 Oct 06).
  • 61 cattle died before the ship reached the Israeli port of Eilat (3 Nov 06)

  • 179 cattle died whilst they were delayed on the ship for 3 days due to ‘security and clearance procedures’ in the port of Eilat.

  • Most of those cattle who died en route to Eilat died of septicaemia (blood poisoning) from infected leg wounds caused through prolonged sitting/lying on the abrasive flooring (on 6 of the 7 decks). Most that died of this cause were Friesian bulls from Portland.

  • The rest of the cattle deaths have been attributed to respiratory disease – pneumonia, shipping fever (acute pneumonia generally induced by stress) – and leg/injuries infection, compounded by high temperature and humidity in the Port.

  • The pen floors were described by the on-board veterinarian as ‘sloppy’ throughout the journey (faeces, urine, water) – adding to the risk of infection.

  • Only ‘between 30 and 40 of the cattle were euthanased’ by the onboard veterinarian – the others died in their pens of their injuries or disease.

The industry provides itself on its “improvements”. The surviving animals would have suffered even more than those who died, or were already dead, on reaching Eilat.

“World’s best practice”? Shame on all of us.

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