Sheep export ship could be blocked in port


About 65,000 live sheep will not be shipped to the Middle East unless tough new conditions are met.A ship carrying 65,000 live sheep and 250 cattle to the Middle East will be blocked from leaving if the export company fails to meet strict new conditions.

Emanuel Exports has been told “shocking” footage from last year showing live exports on one of its vessels suffering from heat stress and other poor conditions has raised serious concerns about animal welfare.

Agriculture Department Assistant Secretary Narelle Clegg wrote to Emanuel manager Nicholas Daws on Thursday, outlining the proposed conditions.

The department wants the amount of stock on the ship to be reduced, and independently gathered video and photographs of conditions sent to the department every day after it sets sail.

Stocking density, food and water regimes, and ventilation are also included in its concerns.

Ms Clegg said new information had shown previous evidence of overcrowding on Emanuel vessels “over a period in 2017”.

“A large number of sheep were suffering from heat stress, sheep were not able to readily access food and water, sick and injured sheep were not treated or euthanised, (and) the management of the removal of dead animals was insufficient,” Ms Clegg’s letter said.

Emanuel will need departmental approval to export its current shipment, which is due to leave Fremantle for Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar on Tuesday.

Footage of a shipment from August last year is expected be shown on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday night.

About 2400 sheep died on the 2017 voyage, with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud on Thursday announcing an investigation into the shipping company’s practices.

“I saw footage provided to me by Animals which is very disturbing. I am shocked and gutted. This is the livelihood of n farmers that are on that ship,” he said.

Labor’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon says he was concerned the department’s investigation found no breach of regulatory standards.

“That can only mean one of two things. Either the investigative processes are flawed, or the standards are insufficient,” he said.

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