Showing posts with label animal rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animal rights. Show all posts

Monday, 29 October 2018

Morrison Government whittling away at health & safety requirements in live sheep export trade

“Space allocation per animal must be based on allometric principles and increased by at least 30% for sheep that weigh 40 to 60 kg (based on a k-value of 0.033). The typical sheep sent to the Middle East is an adult Merino wether in this weight range. This increase in space (k = 0.033) is the minimum amount needed to alleviate adverse welfare outcomes, and must be implemented across all body weights and all months of the year…. Irrespective of stocking density, thermoregulatory physiology indicates that sheep on live export voyages to the Middle East during May to October will remain susceptible to heat stress and die due to the expected extreme climatic conditions during this time. Accordingly, voyages carrying live sheep to the Middle East during May to October cannot be recommended.”  [Submission from the Australian Veterinary Association, May 2018]
Between January and September 2018 Australia exported 973,651 live sheep.

The majority of these sheep were exported by sea for slaughter at destination and, the size of each sea shipment ranged from 498 animals up to 68,039 animals.

It is not unusual for sheep deaths on these voyages to number in the hundreds.

Overall sheep mortality for the first 6 months of the year ran at 0.61% as of June 2018

That represents almost 6,000 sheep which died due to the stress of the sea voyage and conditions on board the export vessel from January to June.

One can reasonably expect sheep mortality rates to rise given the Morison Government's recent decision to increase sheep density numbers on board export vessels.

A decision it apparently arrived at after the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources & Nationals MP for Maranoa David Littleproud had announced that the government had accepted all 23 recommendations in the Review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer report.

From 1 November 2018 the floor space per adult sheep will be reduced by 11.5% going into projected November temperatures ranging from 22 to 37 degrees Celsius across Middle Eastern destination ports.

It is worth noting that the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has not published any analysis of current animal welfare standards in the last 5 years and the version of Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock in operation to date appears to be the 2011 version.

Australian media now report that the Morrison Government is stalling on legislating tougher penalties for exporters who breach live export regulations and, that Nationals MP for New England and disgraced former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce claims that 99.7% of sheep arrive at their export destination in the same or better condition than when they left.

So according to Barnaby only 0.3% of exported sheep suffer a loss of condition.

An interesting claim, given official sheep mortality is calculated at 0.61% of the live cargo being transported.

It seems that some of Barnaby's sheep are miraculously born-again sometime during those sea voyages,

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories & Liberal MP for Farrer Sussan Ley shows her true colours

"This is an industry with an operating model built on animal suffering" [Sussan Ley, 21 May 2018]

Recently welcomed back into the Coalition ministerial fold after being forced to resign as health minister due to her expense scandal, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories & Liberal MP for Farrer Susan Ley, placed her lack of moral compass on full display this week when she abandoned her commitment to limit the cruel trade in live sheep.

Compare her present actions with her description three months earlier of the live sheep trade which she then condemned in no uncertain terms. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 September 2018:

They threatened to cross the floor to stop the trade they felt was so heinous. But when it came to a vote on Monday, Liberal MPs Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson staged a change of heart and used their deciding votes to prevent a debate on a ban on the live animal export trade.

As backbenchers the pair led a government backlash against the live export trade after horrific footage showing the deaths of thousands of sheep en route to the Middle East last year emerged. They even proposed their own bill to stop the trade.
That was within grasp on Monday, when a private member's bill sponsored by the Greens and crossbenchers to stop the trade passed the Senate 31 votes to 28.

Just two votes were required to approve it in the House of Representatives but Ms Ley and Ms Henderson, who were recently elevated to the outer ministry in Scott Morrison's reshuffle, voted against moves to bring it on for debate.

To cross the floor, they would have needed to quit their ministerial positions.
The pair then also rejected Labor attempts to bring on a debate in the House on their own bill. Their two votes made the difference with the bill going down 70-72.

Labor's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the pair had put their political interests ahead of animal welfare.

“Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson sponsored a bill to phase-out the live sheep export trade and made passionate speeches in support of their proposal," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"But today they put their own political careers ahead of their policy convictions.

"Given the 72-70 result, their votes were the difference."

Both bills now disappear into history and the issue of cruelty to exported livestock remains unresolved.

Friday, 10 August 2018

The fight against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic continues....

Minke Whale Breaching at

Australia states its position……

Joint media release
Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy, The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

2 August 2018

Australia is very concerned by Japan’s latest proposal to lift the global moratorium on commercial whaling at the next International Whaling Commission meeting in September 2018.

Australia remains steadfastly opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling and continues to be a leader in seeking to strengthen the International Whaling Commission to protect whales.

We strongly support the 30-year global moratorium on commercial whaling and will vehemently oppose any attempts to undermine the processes that support it, including through changed voting regimes or the establishment of catch-limits for commercial whaling.

Australia and Japan enjoy a deep and strong bilateral relationship, but we disagree on the issue of whales. At the Commission meeting in September, Australia will be calling on like-minded nations to reject Japan’s proposal.

Australia has worked tirelessly to see an end to commercial whaling. We have co-sponsored resolutions to improve the operation and scrutiny of the Commission and its scientific committee; we have supported the establishment of new sanctuaries where whales can thrive in their own environment; we initiated the Commission’s twelve-nation Southern Ocean Research Partnership supporting non-lethal whale research; and we successfully took Japan to the International Court of Justice.

The Australian Government will continue to advocate strongly and consistently for the cessation of commercial whaling and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling. The science is clear, you do not need to kill whales in order to study them.

How one Japanese newspaper reported the issues……

The Japan Times, 4 August 2018:

SINGAPORE – Japan and Australia agreed Friday to make efforts to prevent their whaling dispute from hurting bilateral relations, a government official said.

During talks in Singapore, Foreign Minister Taro Kono briefed his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop about Japan’s proposal to restructure the International Whaling Commission to make it easier to resume commercial whaling.

But Australia is strongly opposed to all forms of whaling, raising concern that ties between Tokyo and Canberra could be strained by a practice that Japan says is a cultural tradition.

Last month, Japan proposed resuming whaling of some species of relatively abundant whales. The government halted commercial whaling in 1982, in line with the global moratorium adopted by the IWC, but has hunted the mammals since 1987 for what it calls “scientific research purposes.”

In September 2014, the IWC adopted a resolution saying Japan should abide by the International Court of Justice’s ruling earlier this year that its “scientific whaling” program was illegal and should be halted.

Bishop and environment minister Josh Frydenberg released a joint statement on Thursday condemning the proposal to lift the global moratorium on commercial whaling.


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Japan finds threats and bribery not working as well as expected with member countries in International Whaling Commission – will seek to change voting rules

I’ve lost count of the times that Japan has threatened to leave the International 
Whaling Commission (IWC) and bribery allegations seem to have been floating 
around forever. 

However, it appears the Government of Japan is not satisfied with results to date 
and now want to see IWC voting rules changed so that it won’t take as many 
threats and bribes to get its way and recommence large-scale commercial whaling.

Kyoda News, 27 June 2018:

Japan is set to propose resuming commercial whaling of some species at a 
meeting of the International Whaling Commission in September as a ruling 
party endorsed the government plan on Tuesday.

Tokyo is targeting certain types of whales whose numbers are relatively 
abundant such as minke whales for the proposal, but it remains uncertain 
whether it can secure support from members of the IWC that are split over 

Tuesday's approval by the Liberal Democratic Party came amid emerging 
calls from some government officials and ruling party lawmakers that Japan 
should weigh withdrawal from the IWC.

Their criticism is directed at the divisive and what they see as dysfunctional 
nature of the international body, with one ruling party source saying, "We 
are not going to drag this out."

At the meeting from Sept. 10 to 14 in Brazil, to be chaired by Japanese 
government representative Joji Morishita, Japan plans to make a packaged 
proposal that also calls for easing of the IWC's decision-making rules, a plan
seen as a tactic to court anti-whaling members.

Currently, approval from a majority of three-fourths of IWC members is 
needed to set a catch quota or a sanctuary where whaling is banned. 
The Japanese proposal is to lower the hurdle to a simple majority.

The potential easing of the rules will make it easier for anti-whaling members
to secure support for designating a new whale sanctuary.

Of the IWC's 88 members, 40 support whaling while the remaining 48 are 
against the practice, according to Japan's Fisheries Agency.

The IWC, which aims to manage whaling and conserve whales, was 
established in 1948. In 1982, it declared there should be a moratorium on 
commercial whaling and the ban came into force in 1986.

Japan stopped commercial whaling across the board in fiscal 1988. But it 
continues to hunt whales for "research purposes," drawing criticism 
overseas that the practice is a cover for commercial whaling.

Phys Org, 27 June 2018:

At September's meeting in Brazil, Japan "will propose setting a catch 
quota for species whose stocks are recognised as healthy by the IWC 
scientific committee", Hideki Moronuki, an official in charge of whaling at 
Japan's fisheries agency, told AFP.

Moronuki said the proposal would not specify which whale species and 
how many mammals Japan wants to hunt, but he said the IWC classifies 
several species as no longer depleted.

The moratorium has been in place since 1986, and Japan's previous 
attempts to win a partial lifting have been unsuccessful.

Japan will also propose measures to change the body's decision-making 
process, lowering the threshold for proposals to pass from three quarters 
of members to half.

"The IWC has not been functioning. We should get united to build a more 
cooperative system," Moronuki said.

Tokyo has continued to hunt whales despite the moratorium, exploiting a 
loophole allowing "scientific research". It says the research is necessary to prove whale populations are large enough to sustain a return to commercial 

It makes no secret of the fact that meat from the expeditions ends up on dinner tables, despite a significant decline in the popularity of whale meat.

Whales were a key protein source in the immediate post-World War II years, 
when the country was desperately poor, but most Japanese now say they 
rarely or never eat whale.

But foreign pressure on Japan to stop whaling has hardened the positions 
of conservative activists and politicians.

Japan cancelled its 2014-2015 hunt after the International Court of Justice 
said permits being issued by Tokyo were "not for purposes of scientific 

But it resumed the hunts in 2016, and conservationists were furious this 
year after Japan reported it had caught 333 minkes on its latest expedition, 
122 of which were pregnant.

Japanese officials said the high rate of pregnant whales showed the strength 
of the minke population.

Japan's last bid to ease the restrictions was in 2014, when the IWC voted 
down its request to hunt 17 minke whales in its coastal waters—where 
smaller whales which Japan claims are not regulated by the committee are 
already hunted.

Friday, 1 June 2018

This barbaric whale slaughter must end!

Antartic minke whale in Science, Space and Robots blog, 23 April 2014, 30 May 2018:

The Courier-Mail can reveal that 95 per cent of the female whales slaughtered by the Japanese were carrying calves.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has slammed the Japanese whale hunt.

“The Australian Government is deeply disappointed that Japan continues to undertake so-called ‘scientific’ whaling,” he said.

“The Government has made representations at the highest levels to Japan – and will continue to do so…..

Japanese whalers killed 333 minke whales – plus 122 unborn calves – in the Southern Ocean last summer.

“Apparent pregnancy rate of sampled animals was high’’, the Japanese whalers stated in a new report to International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee meeting in Slovenia this month.

“One or two minke whales were sampled randomly from each … school using harpoons with a 30g penthrite grenade.’’

The whalers killed one in every three of the protected marine mammals they spotted.
Eleven whales managed to avoid the harpoons by hiding in water with high-density ice.

Over three months, two Japanese ships equipped with cannons hunted the whales for 12 hours a day – harpooning some whales 10m long.

Commercial whaling was banned more than 30 years ago but Japan continues to hunt by using a loophole to kill whales for “scientific research’’.

The Humane Society International (HSI) blasted the harpooning of pregnant whales as a “truly gruesome and unnecessary’’.

HSI senior program manager Alexia Wellbelove said the “scientific whaling’’ was a front for the meat trade, as the whales were taken back to Japan for human and pet food.

“The killing of 122 pregnant whales is a shocking statistic and sad indictment on the cruelty of Japan’s whale hunt,’’ she said yesterday.

Ms Wellbelove called on State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to use her trade visit to Japan this week to lobby its government to stop whaling.

“They claim it’s necessary to understand whale biology but that information can be obtained through a biopsy,’’ Ms Wellbelove said.

“The whales often get used for pet food.’’

The IWC report, written by employees of the Institution of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, the Kyodo Senpaku fishing company and Tokyo University, says the whales were killed to obtain data on the “age, sexual maturity and body length of the whales’’.

The Japanese analysed the stomach content to “estimate prey consumption’’ and measured blubber thickness to “study the nutritional condition’’ of the dead whales.

Minke whale surfaces through Antartic ice, photo set

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Private members bill banning live sheep exports before the Australian Parliament - it needs your support

Sky News, Sunday 20 May 2018:

Greens MP Adam Bandt has told Sky News there may be the numbers in federal parliament to pass a private members bill that will ban live sheep exports. Liberal backbencher Sussan Ley will introduce a private members bill to parliament next week that, if passed, would see the live sheep export trade phased out. 

The bill has the support of three Liberal MPs, Labor and the Greens. Mr Bandt says there’s a 'real prospect' the bill could pass the parliament within the next month.

ABC News, Monday 21 May 2018:

Support for shutting down the live sheep export trade is gaining ground, with Labor set to formally endorse the proposal this week.

Liberal MP Sussan Ley will today introduce a private member's bill that would ban live sheep exports to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer months in 2019 and entirely close the sector down in five years.

"This has been a trade marked by disaster following debacle and that's gone on for 33 years, it's had a very sad history, a very dismal history," she said.

Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon told AM Labor will lock in its support for what will be known as the Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill.

"I will certainly be recommending to both the shadow cabinet and to the party room this week that we support the bill," he told AM.

"I have no doubt that the bill reflects the view of the broader Labor Party and on that basis I'm very confident that the party room will embrace the bill."

Labor's support drastically increases Ms Ley's chances of securing the numbers to debate the bill in the House of Representatives.

She already has the backing of Liberal colleagues Sarah Henderson and Jason Wood, and believes the numbers will increase.

"I've had conversations with two or three that … are very supportive. I will leave it up to them about when they talk about their support and to what degree they might get behind this bill," she said.

But her hopes of securing Ian Goodenough's support, who indicated an interest in the bill, have fallen through.

"After considering all the factors I have decided to initially back the Government position on the McCarthy Review to implement a series of changes," he said.

Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill 2018, Explanatory Memorandum, excerpt:


The Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill 2018 amends the Export Control Act 1982, the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 and the Export Control Act 2018. The Bill introduces provisions which will restrict the long haul export of live sheep and lambs during the northern summer months of July, August or September in a five year transitional period, or at any time after that period, where the voyage is by ship and of duration exceeding ten days, and where a place in that voyage, regardless of whether that place is the final destination, is either the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea.

It is expected Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Wentworth Malcolm Bligh Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals MP for Riverina Michael McCormack will use their numbers to quash this bill.

With the bill joining the Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2011 (Adam Bandt MP), Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2] (Senator Rachael Seiwert) and Live Animal Export Restriction and Prohibition Bill 2011 (Andrew Wilkie MP) in the Australian parliamentary achives.


Enough ordinary Australian citizens contact their federal members of parliament this week by email and tell them they will lose their vote at the forthcoming federal election if the MP doesn't vote in support of this bill.

There are currently 150 members of the House of Representatives and 76 senators so get cracking,

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Ultimately allowing live animal exports and cruelty to livestock is the responsibility of the Australian general public and we should not turn away from our part in this trade

It would appear that live animal exporters are still ignoring the health and well-being of livestock.

Take Emanuel Exports Pty Limited, first incorporated in Western Australia in 1955..... 

ABC News, 9 March 2018:   

A scandal-plagued live export ship slated to take 65,000 sheep to the Middle East has failed to satisfy an inspection and must provide evidence of improvements before maritime officials will allow it to set sail with livestock on board.

The concerns relate to airflow in pens where sheep will travel.

Inspectors from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spent hours inspecting the Awassi Express after it docked in Fremantle, Western Australia, on Sunday.

"AMSA has advised the master and ship operator that they will have to arrange a third party air flow verification report to prove compliance with air flow standards before an Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock can be issued," an AMSA statement reads.

To carry livestock, a ship must have a certificate for the carriage of livestock.

The inspected ship, used by Emanuel Exports, is the same vessel linked to 2,400 sheep deaths during a voyage to the Middle East last August.

The Department of Agriculture investigated that incident but scandal erupted after footage of the sheep surfaced, reportedly showing livestock being mistreated.
The vision, broadcast on Channel Nine on Sunday night, showed hundreds of sheep crowded into a small space, workers throwing dead sheep overboard, and faeces-covered pens where animals stood panting or collapsed on the ground.

It remains unclear what will happen to the sheep and 250 cattle Emanuel Exports plans to send to Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar in the coming days.
Emanuel Exports was also responsible for a July 2016 consignment, in which an estimated 3,000 sheep died from heat stress during a voyage to the Middle East….

Governments and farming bodies will react after the event when particular instances of animal cruelty or poor shipping conditions make the news. However such reaction frequently makes a claim that the incident in question is a 'one-off' occurrence.

There appears to be a general lack of will to address the fundamental failure of the live export industry to protect livestock from harm or to turn and face the fact that live export in itself is a cruel practice.

Responsibility for animal welfare lies in the last instance with the Australian general public and it will not be until tens of thousands of everyday citizens pick up the phone or write/email federal ministers, MPs and senators that the public's voice will begin outweigh the political influence of farmer-grazier lobby groups.

Contact details for all members of the federal parliament be found at List of Senators - (PDF 163KB) and List of Members - (PDF 145KB)   if readers want to have their say on the subject of live animal export.    


ABC News, 5 February 2017:

WA's largest live exporting company, Emanuel Exports, is back in court today to defend itself against charges of animal cruelty brought against it under the state's Animal Welfare Act. The case harks back to 2003 when he animal rights group, Animals Australia, won a Supreme Court order which forced the state to investigate alleged breaches of the Act during a shipment of 100,000 sheep on the Al Kuwait in November of that year. The livestock industry and animal rights groups say the outcome could set a precedent for the future of live exports. Natacha Hammond spoke with Tim D'Arcy from the Pastoralists and Graziers Association who has been at the opening morning of the case.

8 February 2008, DLGD v Emanuel Exports judgement., 1 March 2012:

The export licence of one of Western Australia’s oldest livestock exporters, International Livestock Exports, the South East Asian export arm of Emanuel Exports, could be under threat as a result of footage released by Animals Australia this week.

The footage, showing mistreatment of cattle inside Indonesian abattoirs, aired on ABC Lateline on Tuesday.

ILE is believed to be the exporter responsible for at least one of the animals shown in the footage.

The Federal Government’s Export Supply Chain Accreditation System, introduced to improve animal welfare standards in the wake of televised footage of cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs last year, places the onus of responsibility for the welfare of all exported animals through until the point of slaughter on exporters.

Penalties for breaches of the ESCAS include conditions being placed on licenses, or the suspension or cancellation of a licence.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is currently investigating the footage supplied by Animals Australia last Friday, and will decide on penalties if it confirms that an Australian exporter has breached the ESCAS rules.

Emanuel Exports director Mike Stanton told Beef Central this afternoon that the company has suspended the operations of one abattoir within its accredited supply chain in Indonesia whilst the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry investigation is underway…..

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Speak Up for Battery Hens Before It's Too Late: NSW Government taking submissions on Model Code of Practice for Poultry until 26 February 2018

AAP MediaNet Release:

15 Feb 2018 4:00 AM AEST - Australians Urged to Speak up for Battery Hens Before it's too Late

15 February, 2018

Australians Urged to Speak up for Battery Hens Before it's too Late

Australians are being encouraged take part in a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help end the cruel use of battery hen cages by making a submission to the poultry code review.

With polls indicating 84% of Australians believe that battery cages should be banned, it's alarming that 11 million hens still suffer in cages in Australia today.

Deemed cruel and unacceptable in many other countries including Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the entire European Union, Australia is now lagging behind the rest of the world by continuing to allow the use of battery hen cages.

The reasons to act now and make a submission to the poultry review are clear. Battery hens in Australia are permanently locked in small cages, denied the freedom to walk around and stretch their wings for their entire life. Furthermore, scientists estimate that four in five caged hens suffer from crippling osteoporosis due to the conditions they are forced to live in.

Setting the standard for the treatment of farmed birds, the review of the Model Code of Practice for Poultry is now open for public consultation. But the process hasn't been without scandal, with documents acquired under the Freedom of Information Act indicating collusion between the egg industry and the NSW Government to ensure battery cages remain in use.

With industry interests dominating the agenda, now is the time for the public to raise their voices for animal welfare standards to reflect community expectations.

"This is the first time in 17 years that the laws that allow cage egg farming have come under review. Currently, more than 90,000 Australians have made a submission through the Animals Australia website, which is staggering. It's already the biggest response to a public consultation for farmed animals that Australia has ever seen. This demonstrates the depth of concern in the community about this issue," said Animals Australia's Campaign Director Lisa Chalk.

The expectations of the community have changed significantly within the last decade, with many consumers already voting with their wallets. Most Australians no longer buy cage eggs and while major companies such as Woolworths, Aldi, McDonald's, Subway, Hungry Jack's, Arnott's, Nestle and Heinz are removing cage eggs from their supply chains, cage egg corporations are still permitted to operate in Australia.

Cage egg farming in Australia is dominated by three multi-million dollar corporations whose combined annual revenue is over half a billion dollars. They can well afford the 2.5 cents per egg it would cost to give hens a better life.

With support for cage egg farming waning, some egg producers are now looking to export cage eggs overseas. A legal ban on battery cages would ensure Australian hens aren't condemned to suffer in cages to lay eggs for other countries. 
"Australian Governments like to project the nation as a world leader on animal welfare but in reality, Australia is lagging well behind other developed nations, particularly in failing to acknowledge the unacceptable cruelty caused by battery hen cages," said Lisa Chalk.

"What we have before us is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a better life for millions of animals."

The poultry code review provides a rare opportunity to secure a legal ban on the cruel and archaic battery hen cage. Running until February 26, the public consultation process enables everyone in the community to join well-known Australians - Judith Lucy, Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Lehmo - to be part of history in the making and help free hens from cages.

Submissions take only a minute and can be made by visiting before February 26th.

Video and images are available for download at:

Submissions can be made via email or post. 

Please email submissions to 


Post submissions to: Animal Welfare Standards Public Consultation PO Box 5116 Braddon ACT 2612