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Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Page: 8081

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Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (13:31): Over the weekend Western Australia saw rare snow falling across the Stirling Ranges. At the same time Emmanuel Exports was loading its Al Messilah livestock ship in Fremantle port in readiness for setting sail for the extreme heatwave conditions of the Middle East. Two more loaded ships are already en route. This week it is 49 degrees Celsius in Kuwait.

Last week, Animals Australia documented Australian sheep being openly sold through Kuwait's illegal Al Rai market. They were suffering from heat stress, sitting unshaded in cars, and were destined to be slaughtered by amateurs. Export permits should not be granted during such weather extremes. It was during this period two years ago that 4,000 sheep literally baked to death on board the Bader III.

ESCAS was implemented in the Middle East following the horrendous vision of Australian sheep being trussed and shoved into car boots in 50-degree-plus conditions at Al Rai. Those sheep were also exported by Emmanuel Exports. It defies belief that the same practices and the same abuses persist. Notwithstanding the fact that shocking breaches continue to occur in Kuwait, Israel , Gaza, Jordan and Vietnam, not one exporter has been prosecuted. We can only conclude that ESCAS is failing in all four of its objectives—animal welfare, control and traceability through the supply chain, and independent auditing. When it makes so much sense, in terms of both animal welfare and Australian jobs, to transition to an expanded chilled and frozen meat trade, the question of why we continue the cruel, poorly managed and unnecessary live export trade, sadly, remains unanswered.