Author Topic: Vets Against Live Export- Media -15.11.2012  (Read 1666 times)

WA Export News

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Vets Against Live Export- Media -15.11.2012
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 10:16:12 AM »
What really happened in Bahrain?

 This letter (below) was posted on the Wellard website as part of their explanation of how the Pakistan disaster came about. VALE assumed that the consignment had
been rejected due the presence of scabby mouth, which is the ‘disease of convenience’ when commercial rivalries play out in the Middle East. What was
puzzling, but not entirely unexpected, was that the post-Cormo Memorandum of Understanding (between the Bahrain and Australian Governments) which purported
to allow unloading of sheep when questions of health were being established had been ignored or not invoked. However, this letter implies that the importer was
indeed able to unload some of the sheep and dispose of the infected ones at sea, although the numbers involved remain a mystery.

By the date of the letter – 30 August 2012 – there is strong evidence that the Ocean Drover was already on its way to Pakistan. We believe, given the comment made by
Minister Joe Ludwig on Four Corners, that the exporter had made a commercial decision to divert the sheep to another market, that there is a question as to whether
they had actually ever been rejected by Bahrain. What is clear is that DAFF fast-tracked new export documentation for Pakistan encouraged by Wellard’s assurances
that they had already been through the process required to obtain ESCAS approval for the PK Livestock facilities there. A win-win situation for Wellard: avert another
potential Cormo disaster, expedite the opening of a new market by putting pressure on DAFF and sell sheep which had lost their value in their intended destination.

What followed was a catalogue of mistakes for which the sheep paid a terrible price. By not notifying the Pakistanis that the sheep had been diverted from, if not rejected
by, Bahrain the train of tragic events described on Four Corners was set in motion. It is also doubtful whether Wellards ever had control of the animals in Pakistan as there are
local media reports of animals being sold to individual butchers, restaurants and hotels very soon after arrival, which in itself is a breach of ESCAS provisions (the ESCAS schemes
are meant to ensure amongst other things that animals go to approved facilities and are individually trackable). A Pakistani government report showed that several thousand just
disappeared. Moreover, the facility they were sent to was not an approved quarantine facility – so how did that get ESCAS approval from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry? By not ensuring that the sheep were placed in an approved quarantine facility the animals were at the mercy of the local authorities who, for whatever
reasons, were determined that they were not going to be ‘processed’ at PK Livestock.


For more information contact Dr Sue Foster on 0423 783 689,

Letter from Bahrain’s Ministry of Municipalities & Agricultural Affairs authorising the unloading of sheep

[The full letter is available on Wellard’s website. Go to,
then click on ‘ Wellard statement on Pakistan’.]

15 November 2012
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 10:18:03 AM by WA Export News »