Australia’s stay export trade has labelled the animal rights foyer’s makes an attempt to take advantage of the unfolding MV Bahijah scandal for political factors as “cheap, callous and cynical”.
It comes after Australia’s chief veterinary officer on Monday confirmed the deaths of 51 sheep and 4 cattle from among the many greater than 16,000 head consignment.
The RSPCA on Tuesday issued a press release welcoming the Federal Agriculture Department’s choice to reject exporter Bassem Dabbah’s software to ship the consignment again to Israel by way of the Cape of Good Hope.
But RSPCA WA chief government Ben Cave claimed the livestock had been “not out of danger yet”.
“A final decision on their future (is) still up in the air. They will be suffering from stress and fatigue as this process continues to drag on,” he stated.
“We continue our call for the thousands of sheep and an unknown number of cattle aboard the MV Bahijah to be taken off the ship in Fremantle immediately.”
Mr Cave additionally labelled the stay export trade “cruel and unnecessary” and renewed requires the Albanese Government to legislate a date for its deliberate phase-out.
“The science tells us the live export trade has inherent, unfixable issues that negatively impact on the welfare of livestock,” he stated.
“Hooved animals are not meant to be penned on ships sailing the high seas for weeks on end and the evidence is they do suffer.”
An Australian Live Exporters’ Council spokeswoman accused the RSPCA of “politicising” the problem and spreading misinformation.
She stated the scenario actually proved the trade had the mandatory processes in place to cope with “exceptional scenarios”.
“We continue to be genuinely disappointed that activist groups, in particular the RSPCA, and some politicians spread misinformation and untruths about conditions onboard the vessel,” the spokeswoman stated.
“In many instances it was deliberately misleading. Given the extraordinary circumstances of this situation, any moves to use this issue to attempt to further the Government’s proposed ban on live sheep exports would be cheap, callous, and cynical.”
Chief veterinary officer Beth Cookson described the variety of livestock deaths “associated with the vessel” as “small”.
“I can confirm there have been 51 deaths in the sheep and four in the cattle population,” she stated.
“This is quite a low number considering the number of animals on board, and within normal ranges.
“The deaths are associated with conditions that wouldn’t be necessarily unexpected in livestock production systems and farming practices.”
It’s understood the cattle deaths occurred after what the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry described as “several hundred head of healthy cattle” had been “successfully unloaded” on Saturday, on the request of the exporter.
“There were no animal welfare issues associated with this unloading,” a DAFF spokesperson stated on the time.
Dr Cookson stated the variety of deaths remained under the reportable mortality price of 1 per cent for sheep, and 0.5 per cent for cattle.
“The animals continue to be under the supervision and care of veterinarians. The department continues to receive daily reports about the conditions on board of the vessel,” she stated.
Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook accused the RSPCA and Fremantle MP Josh Wilson — a vocal opponent of the commerce — of telling “outright lies”.
“Using words like horrific and horrendous and cruel just shows how far out of touch they really are with the reality of it,” he stated.