Author Topic: DAFF Investigation into Wellards consignment to Pakistan - no action  (Read 1204 times)

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Re: DAFF Investigation into Wellards consignment to Pakistan - no action
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 10:33:37 PM »
Yet we still send them breeding animals and possibly dairy animals as well ... they will be treated with the same level of torture and abuse, once they are no longer 'productive'.

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DAFF Investigation into Wellards consignment to Pakistan - no action
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 10:29:18 PM »
Who can ever forget the horrific fate of 22,000 Australian sheep in Pakistan in September 2012? Yet DAFF rules that no action is to be taken against Wellards

Summary and Investigation, please visit link provided for full details

Summary
On 4 August 2012, licensed exporter Wellard Rural Exports Pty Ltd (Wellard) exported a consignment of approximately 75,000 sheep destined for Oman, Qatar and Bahrain onboard the vessel Ocean Drover. Following the discharge of part of this consignment in Oman and Qatar, the Ocean Drover sailed to Bahrain with the remaining sheep for discharge. After a series of delays in the unloading of the sheep in Bahrain between 21 August and 1 September, Wellard requested a variation to the Notice of Intention (NOI), the Consignment Risk Management Plan (CRMP) and Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) approval to discharge the sheep in Pakistan. DAFF approved this request on 1 September 2012 and Wellard discharged approximately 21,000 sheep in Pakistan on 5 September 2012.

The exporter self reported non–compliance with the ESCAS approval conditions on 17 September 2012, and again on 19 October 2012. During these periods, Pakistan authorities took control of the PK Livestock facility and culled the sheep.

The DAFF investigation included assessment of records held by DAFF for the consignment, information provided by Wellard and video footage reportedly taken at the facility during and immediately after the first cull.

The scope of this investigation was limited to determining whether the exporter complied with the conditions of the NOI, CRMP and ESCAS approval and if the handling and slaughter of sheep shown in the publically released video footage was compliant with World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) animal welfare recommendations.

The investigation concluded that:
 
  • the handling and slaughter of sheep shown in the publicly released video footage was not compliant with OIE animal welfare recommendations
  • Wellard complied with the conditions of the NOI, CRMP and ESCAS approvals except when risks to personal safety or intervention by Pakistan authorities prevented Wellard from doing so
  • intervention by the Pakistan authorities and accompanying armed police was beyond the control of Wellard and could not have been avoided through the exercise of all due care.
The Secretary should treat the outcomes of the investigation as relevant information for the purposes of approving any future ESCAS applications for Pakistan. However, the Secretary does not have reasonable grounds on which to take other regulatory action against Wellard.

The livestock export industry has voluntarily suspended the export of slaughter and feeder animals to Pakistan. DAFF supports this position.
The animal handling and slaughter activities related to the first cull of the sheep in this consignment were not compliant with OIE animal welfare recommendations and DAFF considers that the non–compliances were serious in nature. This is information that the Secretary may consider when deciding whether to approve an ESCAS. Due to the seriousness of the outcomes, the Secretary may require significant assurances to be satisfied that any proposed ESCAS application for export to Pakistan would meet OIE animal welfare recommendations

The Incident

The following is a summary of the key events that occurred during this incident. A chronology of events is presented at Appendix 2.

On 4 August 2012, licensed exporter Wellard Rural Exports Pty Ltd (Wellard) exported a consignment of approximately 75,000 sheep from Fremantle, Australia to Oman, Qatar and Bahrain onboard the vessel MV Ocean Drover.

Following the discharge of part of the consignment in Oman and Qatar, the Ocean Drover arrived in Manama, Bahrain on 21 August 2012 with the remaining sheep. On 22 August 2012, Wellard was advised that Bahraini officials had detected scabby mouth on some sheep and discharge was delayed.

The sheep were prepared for export in accordance with the agreed importing country requirements for Bahrain. These requirements did not include any conditions relating to Scabby Mouth and Bahrain had not notified Australia that Scabby Mouth was a disease of concern.
The Ocean Drover was requested to move out of the Manama port pending a formal decision. The Australian Government commenced discussions with the Bahrain Government on 22 August 2012 after being advised of the delay in unloading. When faced with the delay, Wellard initiated a contingency plan to find an alternate market canvassing a number of options with the Department, including Pakistan.

Following a series of discussions between the Australian and Bahrain Government, the vessel was requested by Bahrain to return to Manama port for further inspection and possible unloading of sheep. The vessel arrived back in Manama port on 29 August 2012. Following veterinary inspection, on 30 August 2012 the Bahrain Ministry of Municipalities Agriculture and Affairs issued written approval to the importer to offload all healthy sheep. The importer attempted to commence unloading of the animals on 30 August 2012, but the vessel was requested to vacate its berth by the port authority. No official explanation for this instruction was provided to the Australian Government.

Wellard requested to vary the NOI, CRMP and ESCAS to allow discharge of the sheep in Pakistan to the PK Livestock and Meat Co. Pty Ltd (PK Livestock) supply chain. Wellard cited animal welfare concerns caused by the ongoing delays in discharge as the reason for the request. The request was approved on 1 September 2012 subject to additional conditions including additional monitoring by Wellard representatives, industry representatives and an Independent Monitoring Officer (IMO) and daily reporting to DAFF.

Pakistan authorities accepted the sheep and Wellard completed discharge of approximately 21,000 sheep to the PK Livestock supply chain on 5 September 2012 Pakistan time. The PK Livestock supply chain is located in the city of Karachi, within the Pakistan province of Sindh.

Wellard reported that following discharge various federal and provincial Pakistan authorities visited the PK Livestock supply chain to examine livestock and take diagnostic samples. Following discharge, reports appeared in the Pakistan media regarding the health and food safety status of the sheep and by 15 September 2012, media interest and speculation about the health of the sheep was intense.

Australia’s position remains that the sheep were always fit for human consumption and met all of the importing country requirements for both Bahrain and Pakistan. This position was subsequently confirmed through independent laboratory testing and veterinary examination.
On 17 September 2012, DAFF received notification from Wellard that it had lost control of the PK Livestock supply chain. Wellard advised DAFF that Pakistan authorities accompanied by armed police had removed Wellard and PK Livestock personnel from the premises and commenced action to cull all livestock on the premises due to health concerns. Wellard reported that between 7,000 and 10,000 sheep were culled, under the direction of the Pakistan authorities. Wellard reported that the cull that occurred over a number of days was not conducted in accordance with OIE animal welfare recommendations.

PK Livestock sought and was later granted a temporary court injunction preventing further culling of the sheep. On 22 September 2012, and as part of the court instructions, Wellard and PK Livestock resumed control over the day to day management of the supply chain facilities and handling of the remaining sheep at the PK Livestock supply chain. Wellard reported that they were able to manage the livestock in compliance with the ESCAS conditions of approval.

A period of considerable legal and diplomatic effort and international expert laboratory testing followed to address Pakistan’s concerns that the livestock were diseased and not fit for human consumption. The chronology at Appendix 2 highlights some of the measures that were taken by Wellard and the Australian Government.  Despite these efforts, on 19 October 2012, DAFF received notification from Wellard that it had again lost control of the PK Livestock supply chain. On 19 October 2012, Pakistan authorities accompanied by armed police officers again took control of the PK Livestock supply chain and commenced culling the remaining sheep. By 21 October 2012, no Australian sheep were observed alive in the PK Livestock supply chain by Wellard’s IMO.

On 22 October 2012, Pakistan authorities gave assurances to the Australian High Commission in Islamabad, that this second cull was conducted in line with international standards.


http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/export/live-animals/livestock/compliance-and-investigations/report-into-wellard-rural-export-consignment-of-sheep-exported-to-pakistan
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 10:32:14 PM by Export News Tasmania »