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Tuesday, 19 November 2002
Page: 6805


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 4 October 2002:

(1) What information does the Minister possess that suggests reportable sheep deaths are related to the preparation of livestock for voyage rather than on-board management.

(2) What is the source of this information.

(3) Who provided this advice to: (a) the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA); (b) the Minister's department; (c) the Minister's office; and (d) the Minister.

(4) When was this advice received by (a) AMSA; (b) the Minister's department; (c) the Minister's office; and (d) the Minister.

(5) Why does the live sheep export moratorium apply to Portland only.


Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Industry representatives from the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council (ALEC) and Livecorp briefed the Minister on 26 September 2002 regarding the outcome of research commissioned by Livecorp, which examined sheep mortalities on export voyages. The research suggested that certain aspects of the pre-export preparation of sheep exported from Portland were major contributing factors to sheep mortalities during voyages, rather than on-board practices.

(2) See the response to question 1.

(3) The live export industry provided a copy of the research report to the Minister's department, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA). AFFA subsequently provided a copy to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The Minister was advised on the contents of the research report by both the livestock export industry and AFFA.

(4) The research report was provided to AFFA by the live export industry on 21 September 2002 and to AMSA on 26 September 2002, by AFFA. The Minister was advised of the contents of the report by AFFA and the livestock export industry during the meeting on 26 September 2002.

(5) Consignments originating from Portland have been identified by the livestock export industry research, and in statistics gathered by AFFA, as being associated with a substantially greater number of unacceptable mortalities during export voyages than consignments originating from other ports.