IN THE NEWS: On MAR 5, 2018
The WA Agriculture Department has assembled a team to investigate another disastrous live export voyage to the Middle East last year in which thousands of sheep died of heat stress.
The West Australian revealed last month that Perth-based live exporter Emanuel Exports lost almost 2500 sheep during a run to the Persian Gulf in August.
That incident followed a 2016 episode when the same company admitted losing about 3000 sheep on a trip to the Middle East, also to heat stress.
The decision by the State Government to investigate the 2017 episode is significant.
It is the first time in more than a decade that a State agency has attempted to investigate an animal cruelty case involving a live exporter and questions remain about jurisdiction. Live export investigations are normally carried by Federal government agencies.
Though the sheep died overseas, the State Government believes it has the authority to investigate because they were loaded in Fremantle.
Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has assigned an experienced investigation team to the case, bringing together officers trained in the investigation of animal welfare, serious fisheries offences and complex aquatic biosecurity breaches.