Media Release

Media Release 01


ANIMAL ADVOCATES CALL ON LIVE EXPORT INDUSTRY TO COME CLEAN 1.9.2011

LiveExportShame has called upon Emanuel Exports, LiveCorp and the Federal Government to ‘come clean’ on the matter of the broken down old ship the ‘Al Messilah’, and the causes of the deaths of more than 300 sheep in the short time they were on board the vessel.

‘There are so many unanswered questions about this fiasco’, said campaigner Suzanne Cass from Hobart.

‘First the ship was so broken down that was going to have to go to Singapore for repairs, then miraculously, AMSA has suddenly declared that it is ‘seaworthy’. Was it in fact ‘seaworthy’ when it left the first time, and was it really seaworthy all along? We are concerned that these ships are entering and leaving Australian ports potentially carrying serious diseases as described by Australia’s chief veterinarian; sheep pox and screw worm fly. Those are in addition to local expert veterinary advice that salmonella and e-coli may also be present’.

Ms Cass has been seeking assurances from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service that each and every ship is thoroughly swabbed and tested for diseases before animals are allowed to be loaded on any voyage, but has met with a no response from the government department responsible for the health and welfare of animals in the live export trade.

‘Our understanding is that the ship’s captain refused RSPCA South Australia’s request to board the ship, and the RSPCA was forced to obtain a warrant. In the time it took for than to happen, the bodies of more than 260 sheep were removed and incinerated, and we want to know why. Clearly no post-mortems can be conducted to determine whether the sheep had contracted serious diseases on the ship, and why so many died, and perhaps it is that, rather than a “breakdown” which forced it back to port.

Effectively, the evidence has been destroyed’.

Animal advocates are speculating what would have happened had the ‘Al Messilah’ been further into its journey when forced back to port. Had the sheep been diseased and rejected by destination country Qatar, it could have become another ‘Cormo Express’, and ironically the ‘Al Messilah’ is a similar type of enclosed ship.

The survivors of the 67,000 sheep unloaded from the ‘Al Messilah are expected now to be loaded on to the ‘Al Shuwaikh’, another Kuwaiti ship which is a 26 year old former oil tanker, but animal advocates have been unable to establish any further information because of a wall of silence by the exporters and AQIS. No assurances have been provided that either ship is free of disease or contamination.

For further information, please contact Suzanne Cass, 042 988221