Exporter breaks animal cruelty rules again
One of Western Australia's biggest livestock exporters could lose its licence to operate after being found once again to have breached animal welfare laws.
In the latest incident, Jordanian-owned Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) is linked to shocking treatment of sheep and cattle in Gaza and the United Arab Emirates.
The Department of Agriculture investigators found LSS committed one minor and two major breaches of animal welfare rules. Photo: Companies which breach cruelty regulations are placing their live export licences in jeopardy.
One of the findings handed down yesterday involved cattle having their eyes gouged and shooting cattle's legs from under them.
It's not the first time LSS has been caught up in serious breaches of the ESCAS animal welfare system.
Perhaps the most significant was last year when more than 4,000 sheep died from heat stress onboard on a voyage to the Middle East.
By law, Agriculture Department officials are required to consider an animal exporter's track record when it next applies for an export permit.
Livestock Shipping Services says it will co-operate with any recommendations made by the department, and provided the following in a written statement to ABC Rural.
LSS is committed to ensuring best practice in its shipping operations.
LSS will continue to cooperate with the Department of Agriculture's recommendations and ensure implementation of any recommendations be made immediately.
In response to non-compliance issues recorded in the UAE: LSS has provided monthly reconciliations of the supply chain since January 2014 and no major issues have been noted since then.
In response to non-compliance issues recorded in Israel: LSS acknowledges animal handling issues during the unloading of livestock. It has noted that the
individuals in the video were not members of the MV Ghena’s crew or LSS staff. LSS advises that it is the policy of the MV Ghena crew that at no time are officers or crew allowed to stress, hurt or harm livestock at any time during the voyage including unloading. The Department has referred the matter to the local authorities.
In response to non-compliance issues recorded in Gaza: Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) formally advised the Department of Agriculture (DoA) on 5th November 2013 that the company had concerns relating to the integrity of its supply chain in Gaza. Following this, LSS immediately took a number of steps to deal with the possible issues.The last shipment of livestock exported directly to Gaza was in mid-October 2013. No further shipments have been exported directly to Gaza.
WA Country Hour By Olivia Garnett