Author Topic: Rejected sheep on board Ocean Drover unloaded in Pakistan. 5.9.2012  (Read 847 times)

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Re: Rejected sheep on board Ocean Drover unloaded in Pakistan. 5.9.2012
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 11:45:46 AM »
If animal welfare was the "most important consideration" then the sheep would still be in Australia.

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Rejected sheep on board Ocean Drover unloaded in Pakistan. 5.9.2012
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 11:37:40 AM »
Stranded sheep ashore


THE shipment of 22,000 Australian sheep that was stranded in Bahrain earlier this week has now been unloaded. The sheep were on board the Wellard Rural Exports' vessel, the Ocean

Drover, and late Tuesday afternoon, the company released a statement saying the unloading of the sheep had commenced.

It said the sheep were being discharged into an ESCAS-compliant supply chain which met OIE standards, "ensuring Australian and international animal welfare standards are adhered to".

Wellard said its ability to identify and unload safely in that alternate market within days, and in accordance with Australian and international animal welfare standards, proved the system works.

"An Australian Government accredited veterinarian, an independent veterinarian accredited by Organisation of International Epizooties (World Animal Health Organisation) and a leading international veterinarian specialising in animal welfare are overseeing the health status of the consignment and unloading of the vessel, with support from an additional five Wellard staff," the statement said.

"Exporters are required to possess an alternate discharge point before they commence aggregating livestock for export. 

"The mortality rate on-board the vessel remains below the Australian Government upper limit. 

"While on board the sheep have been cared for by an AQIS-accredited veterinarian, two Livecorp accredited stockmen and 47 on-board officers and crew. 

"At the port of unloading, the animals were inspected and cleared for import by local quarantine authorities." 

Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig's Department poured cold water on the issue saying there were no animal welfare issues with the shipment.

A DAFF spokesperson said, at the request of the exporter, the Australian Government had approved the redirection of a livestock vessel to an alternative port following delays in approval to unload the sheep in Bahrain.

"Unloading of the sheep at that port has commenced," the statement said, while also backing Wellard in that this was consistent with the government's animal welfare requirements.

"This use of an alternate port is consistent with the requirement for exporters to have contingency arrangements in place for all voyages.

"The health and welfare of the sheep has been constantly monitored by a Department-accredited veterinarian throughout the voyage. 

"The current mortalities on board the vessel are below reportable limits for sheep."

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the government was being secretive about the destination for the unloading, which was confirmed to be Pakistan, having been anchored off the coast of Karachi for several days.

She said she would still be writing to the Minister to investigate the issue and obtain further information about animal welfare conditions for the voyage, including mortality rates.

Due to commercial confidentially restrictions, Wellard was not permitted to name the market destination but said, "the most important consideration is animal welfare".

It is believed the shipment had been held up in Bahrain initially due to two findings of scabby mouth disease.

In an earlier statement, Wellard Rural Exports had said the sheep on board the vessel were prepared by Wellard, and inspected and certified for export by the Australian Quarantine

Inspection Service (AQIS), in accordance with health conditions agreed between the Australian and Bahrain Government.

"The sheep have also been inspected in-port by an independent veterinarian approved by the Bahrain Government who confirmed the sheep's animal health status," the statement said.

"Sheep from the same consignment were successfully discharged in two other markets without incident before the vessel arrived in Bahrain."

An Emanuel Exports shipment which was also bound for Bahrain was redirected to Kuwait earlier this week due to what Fairfax Agricultural Media understands was similar concerns.

Emanuel Exports managing director Graham Daws said the situation with their shipment had since been resolved and the vessel had been unloaded.