Author Topic: Fears for export animals in Fremantle Port as mercury soars  (Read 852 times)

WA Export News

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Fears for export animals in Fremantle Port as mercury soars
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 11:24:49 AM »
A vet has voiced fears for any sheep being transported and held on live export ships at Fremantle Port on Saturday as the mercury heads for a scorching 43 degrees.

Perth is warned to brace for extreme temperatures on the weekend as hot air from the Pilbara sweeps down over the city.

Temperatures have nudged 50 degrees near Onslow and Exmouth over the past few days with a mass of warm air heating over the Pilbara.

     Sheep Story Australia is the most significant exporter of agricultural animals and heat stress has been identified as a significant factor contributing to high mortality in some live export voyages. Photo: Supplied
 
Livestock Shipping Services vessel the Bader III is currently docked at Fremantle Port, but its export manager Paul Keenam said he did not know when the ship was due to leave port or if sheep would be transported by road on Saturday.

Livestock Shipping Services farm and transport their own animals.

Mr Keenam said he didn't know when sheep were couriered to the ship, loaded or departure times and dates.

Fremantle Port's harbour master said he was not able to give out information about livestock vessels.

Vets against Live Animal Exports spokeswoman Heather Cambridge said she had studied heat stress in animals in detail and that if there was a ship holding animals in port, conditions forecast for Saturday could prove fatal.

"These ships are not air-conditioned," Dr Cambridge said.

"The only ventilation is forced ventilation, which is basically whatever the air temperature is outside is what is ventilating the ship."

"Based on the scientific literature, we would say that these animals are going to be in conditions where they are likely to be unable to control their body temperature, and therefore they are going to be in a condition of heat stress."

Dr Cambridge said animals at most risk were those loaded on a ship, but animals on the lower levels of trucks would also be in danger of suffering heat stress.

She said heat stress was a shockingly cruel way to die.  The animals suffer convulsions and severe distress.

Australia is the most significant exporter of agricultural animals and heat stress has been identified as a significant factor contributing to high mortality in some live export voyages, peer-reviewed research published in The Veterinary Journal states.

January 10, 2014  By Narelle Towie

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/fears-for-export-animals-in-fremantle-port-as-mercury-soars-20140109-30kdu.html