Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.
The Federal Regulations governing live export.
ASEL were written in response to the Keniry report on the failings of the live trade in the wake of the Cormo Express saga. The Federal Government decided not to implement all the recommendations but drafted a new set of rules in an effort to dupe the public into believing that they are truly interested in seeing the live export of Australian animals ‘cleaned up’.
Sorry, this window dressing just does not work.
The Federal Government measures the success of a voyage by the number of dead animals at the port of destination. A few years ago an arbitrary figure of 1% for cattle and 2% for sheep was set as the minimum mortality rate acceptable aboard any vessel. This percentage still stands today. Any rate above this nominal figure ’supposedly’ starts an investigation…which usually results in…..nothing. (Millions of sheep have been exported and millions have died and that does not include the thousands that have died aboard ships of disaster: eg the Uniceb or Cormo Express. We also believe that the mortality rate figures touted by the Government are not to be believed because they are not verified.)
What we at Live Export Shame see clearly is that the deaths of animals during transport to the feedlot, in the feedlot, and transport to the port are not taken into account at all. The ‘export chain’ spoken of in these new standards really refers only to the voyage and any other measurement of the ‘chain’ is irrelevant.
Each section of the Live Export Chain:
The key to measure success is by an audit of the animals at every stage of the transport cycle or live export chain from farm gate to arrival at the port. Farmers should be the first to be made accountable when they select animals for transport and load at the farm gate (how many times have we seen animals unloaded at the last point before departure which should never even have been transported due to obvious conditions which preclude them-e.g. pregnant ewes, blind, lame sheep, scabby mouth, pink eye, nasal discharge, cancers.)