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Notice given 4 September 2002

620  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) How many sheep died en route to the Middle East on each of the following ships that departed Australia in July 2002: (a) the Cormo Express ; (b) the Corriedale Express ; (c) the Al Shuwaikh ; and (d) the Al Messilah .

(2) For each vessel: (a) what percentage of sheep died; and (b) from which geographic location or region were these sheep sourced.

(3) (a) When did these vessels depart Australia; and (b) from which Australian port did they sail.

(4) For each vessel, what was the final destination of the sheep onboard.

(5) (a) When did these vessels arrive in the Middle East; and (b) at which ports did the surviving sheep disembark.

(6) For each vessel, how many sheep survived the journey.

(7) At what location, or locations, were the dead sheep thrown overboard.

(8) How many crew were on board each vessel.

(9) For each vessel, how many crew members were concerned with animal welfare and management issues during the journey.

(10) (a) When was the department first advised of reportable sheep deaths onboard the vessels Cormo Express , Corriedale Express , Al Shuwaikh and Al Messilah ; (b) who provided that advice; and (c) what form did that advice take.

(11) (a) When was the Minister first advised of reportable sheep deaths onboard the vessels Cormo Express , Corriedale Express , Al Shuwaikh and Al Messilah ; (b) who provided that advice; and (c) what form did that advice take.

(12) Has the number of dead sheep been adjusted subsequent to the receipt of original advice in this matter by the Minister and the department; if so: (a) when was advice of the number of dead sheep adjusted; and (b) what was the source of the new information.

(13) Did the vessels Cormo Express , Corriedale Express , Al Shuwaikh and Al Messilah sail under an Australian flag; if not, under the flag, or flags, of which country, or countries, did each sail.

(14) Which companies own and/or operate each of these ships.

(15) What percentage of equity in these companies is Australian-owned.

(16) Which livestock export companies were contracted to transport these sheep.

(17) What percentage of equity in these companies is Australian-owned.

(18) Have these companies been involved in any incident in the past 10 financial years, where mortality rates of Australian-sourced animals during live export have exceeded the acceptable level established by applicable Commonwealth or state laws and/or industry codes of practice; if so: (a) when did these incidents occur; (b) what type and breed of animals perished; and (c) in what numbers.

(19) From which geographic locations were the deceased animals sourced for each voyage by these companies in the past 10 financial years where the maximum acceptable mortality rate, as established by applicable Commonwealth or state laws and/or industry codes of practice, was exceeded.

(20) (a) What investigations occurred in respect to these incidents; and (b) what adverse findings, if any, were made in respect to these companies.

(21) Has the Minister agreed to undertake any investigation into the reportable sheep deaths on the vessels Cormo Express , Corriedale Express , Al Shuwaikh and Al Messilah , that departed Australia in July 2002; if so: (a) which agency or agencies will conduct the investigation; (b) when will the investigation be concluded; and (c) will the results of the investigation be released to the public.

(22) Has the Minister undertaken any interim measures to protect the welfare of future live sheep exports on these vessels; if so: (a) what measures have been introduced; (b) when did these measures become effective; and (c) are these measures specific to these vessels or do they apply to all live sheep exports.

(23) How many sheep have died in transit as part of Australia’s live sheep export trade, in each year for the past 10 financial years.

(24) What changes have been made to Commonwealth or state laws and/or industry codes of practice over the past 10 financial years to reduce mortality rates onboard live sheep carriers.

(25) Has the department, or any other agency, undertaken an assessment of the effectiveness of these changes in reducing sheep mortality rates.

(26) Does the sheep mortality rate on ships bound for the Middle East increase during the period May to October; if so, is this increased mortality rate related to climate.