Live Export FOI Report: Shipment under Licence L363, October 2006 (LSS) MV Maysora

Summary of report obtained through FOI by Animals Australia – including possible breaches of Australian Live Export Standards

Portland, Victoria & Fremantle, Western Australia to the Middle East (Israel, Jordan and Egypt)

7,805 cattle were exported from Portland, Victoria (4,657) and Fremantle, Western Australia (3,148) to the Middle East (Eilat, Aqaba and Adabiya) starting on about 12 October 2006.

247 cattle died during the 25 day voyage, a mortality of 3.18%
 
The AQIS investigation report states the main causes of death were:

  • Septicaemia caused by leg infections, in turn resulting from lameness and incoordination in the many Friesian cattle loaded;
  • an outbreak of pneumonia, which may have been present in the feedlot ;
  • infections and stress made worse by heat stress, particularly of the Friesian cattle.

Australian Live Export Standards (ASEL) possibly breached - as revealed by AQIS reports

Abrasive flooring

S4.1 A vessel to be used for the export of livestock must comply with all Australian...requirements for the safe carriage of livestock [which includes Marine Orders Part 43 - 9.2A ship to be used for the carriage of livestock must be       provided with durable fittings so manufactured, assembled or positioned as to protect the livestock from injury, avoidable suffering and exposure to weather and sea.
           
Note: an abrasive floor on the Maysora was reported as problematic on its maiden voyage in 2000

Delayed reporting of reportable event

S 5.11 If a notifiable incident occurs at any time, the relevant Australian government agency must be advised as soon as possible and within 12 hours…        .
Note: the 1% mortality level was ‘likely’ reached on 3 November, but AQIS was not advised until 6 November                

Failure to give immediate treatment/euthanize.
(The report indicates only 30-40 cattle were euthanased, though 247 died on the ship)

5.2 Any livestock for export identified after loading as being sick or injured must: (a) be given immediate treatment; and (b) be killed humanely and without delay, where euthanasia is necessary.

5.6 Livestock and livestock services on the vessel must be regularly
inspected (day and night) to ensure that the health and welfare of the
livestock are maintained while the livestock are on the
vessel:

(b) Livestock must be systematically inspected to assess their health and welfare...
(d) The pen stocking density must be checked regularly throughout the voyage and adjustments made as required...

5.7 Any livestock identified as being sick or injured must:

(a) be given prompt treatment;
(b) be transferred to a hospital pen, if required; and
(c) if necessary, be euthanased humanely and without delay...

The AQIS Accredited Veterinarian (AAV) departed the vessel before the last port (Aqaba/Jordan, instead of Adabiya/Egypt)  

5.1 (b) An accredited veterinarian must accompany each consignment of livestock where required by the relevant Australian Government agency and must remain with the consignment until the vessel has completed discharging at the final port of discharge.

Other relevant issues/ possible contraventions:

Insufficient bedding

4.15 Bedding must be provided in accordance with specification in Appendix 4.3 - …cattle…must be provided with sawdust, rice hulls or similar material to be used exclusively for bedding at a rate of at least seven tones of twenty-five cubic metres for every 1000 sq m of cattle pen space.

Note: It is ikely this was not provided or insufficient ,given the ‘abrasive floor’ problems.

Over 72,000 sheep were also on board the Maysora, and included a consignment due for delivery to Eilat/Israel which was rejected.  ‘Rejection’ is a ‘notifiable’ incident’ and ASEL 5.11 indicates it should have been immediately notified to AQIS.  It is unlikely this occurred (given the cattle deaths were not notified). 

Cattle were treated with Micotil (antibiotic) as a preventative measure for respiratory disease in the feedlot prior to export.  The report’s language indicates this was a little surprising ,  indicating the cattle may have been suffering from a respiratory infection which was not reported (and if there was such an infection, the cattle suffering from it should have been rejected - ASEL 3.17 and Appendix 3.1 rejection criteria include any other condition that could be defined as an infectious or contagious disease...also requires the animal's rejection

The report indicates some cattle may have been overweight – i.e. leading to greater problems with heat.  This may be apparent from the heat risk assessment summary (an original attachment to the report - necessary for AQIS approval of a voyage).  This was not made available in the FOI-obtained materials and Animals Australia has requested it be provided.

Note: -  Recommendation from the report is that AQIS not approve Friesan bull exports from southern ports to the Middle East.

>> Download FOI report


Live Animal Export Trade—Relevant Legislation


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Federal legislation

Export Control Act 1982 ("EC Act");
Export Control (Orders) Regulations 1982 ("EC Regulations");
Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 ("EC Order");
Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 ("AMLI Act");
Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998 ("AMLI Regulations");
Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005 (the "AMLI Standards Order").

A person must not export live-stock without a licence
Section 54 AMLI Act, section 2.02(a) of the EC Act, section 2.02A of the EC Order.

Grant of licence
The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture may grant to a person a licence to export live-stock  (section 10 AMLI Act).  A licence has a duration of at least one year (section 21). A licence may be renewed (section 22 AMLI Act).

"live-stock" is defined as including cattle, sheep and lambs (section 3 AMLI Act).
"export licence" includes a live-stock export licence (section 7 AMLI Act).

Licence Conditions
Section 15 AMLI Act: an export licence is subject to any conditions that are prescribed by the regulations, in addition to the conditions to which an export licence is subject under the AMLI Act.

Section 17 AMLI Act: the Secretary may make orders not inconsistent with the regulations to be complied with by the holders of export licences.  Those orders may make provision with respect to any matter relating to or incidental to the carriage and handling of live-stock...the measure to be taken to ensure compliance with orders made under this section.  Orders made under the section may prohibit (either absolutely or unless particular conditions are complied with) the export or sale for export of live-stock by reference to any one or more of the following (including, relevantly) quality, standard, grade or class and any other matter that the Secretary thinks appropriate and may require the holder of an export licence to obtain prior approval for each export to be made by the holder of the licence, make declarations, give information and send returns.  An export licence is subject to the condition that the holder of the licence must comply with orders made under the section.

The AMLI Standards Order (made under this section) says that that the holder of an export licence must not export live-stock except in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.   Because a licence is subject to the condition that the holder must comply with the orders, non-compliance with any of the relevant Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock is therefore a breach of a condition of licence.

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Sanctions for export licence breaches

Australian Meat & Livestock Industry Act

Section 23  Notice to licence holder to show cause

(1)  If the Secretary has reasonable grounds for believing, in relation to an export licence, that:...

(g)  the holder of the licence has contravened a condition of the licence; the Secretary may give a written notice under this section to the holder of the licence...

(3)  A show cause notice must:

(a) ...state the grounds on which the Secretary formed the belief because of which the notice is given; and...
(b) include a statement to the effect that the holder of the relevant licence may, within 14 days after the day on which the notice is given to the holder, give the Secretary a written statement showing cause why the licence should not be dealt with under subsection 24(1) (and subsection 24(1) gives powers to the Secretary including to cancel a licence, not renew a licence or suspend the licence)

Section 54(3) Intentional or reckless contravention of a licence condition

The holder of an export licence must not contravene a condition of the licence either intentionally or being reckless as to the condition (Penalty: imprisonment for 5 years, or an appropriate fine imposed instead of or in addition to imprisonment, pursuant to subsection 4B(2) of the Crimes Act)


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Relevent state legislation

WA Animal Welfare Act (2002)

19 . Cruelty to animals

(1) A person must not be cruel to an animal.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a person, whether or not the person is a person in charge of the animal, is cruel to an animal if the person...(e) in any way causes the animal unnecessary harm

(3) Without limiting subsection (1) a person in charge of an animal is cruel to an animal if the animal

(a) is transported in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm;
(b) is confined...in a manner that causes or is likely to cause it unnecessary harm...
(d) is not provided with proper and sufficient food or water;
(h) suffers harm which could be alleviated by the taking of reasonable steps;
(j) is in any other way caused unnecessary harm.

 

Tasmanian  Animal Welfare Act (1993)   

7. Management of animals

A person who has the care or charge of an animal must not use a method of management of the animal which is reasonably likely to result in unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering to the animal. Penalty: In the case of –

(a) a body corporate, a fine not exceeding 40 penalty units; or
(b) a natural person, a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.

8. Cruelty to animals

(1) A person must not do any act, or omit to do any duty, which causes or is likely to cause unreasonable and unjustifiable pain or suffering to an animal. Penalty: In the case of –

(a) a body corporate, a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units; or
(b) a natural person, a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1) a person, whether or not the person is a person in charge of the animal, is cruel to an animal if the person — 

(a) tortures, mutilates, maliciously beats or wounds, abuses, torments, or otherwise ill-treats, the animal;
(b) uses a prescribed inhumane device on the animal;
(c) intentionally or recklessly poisons the animal;
(d) does any prescribed act to, or in relation to, the animal; or
(e) in any other way causes the animal unnecessary harm.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1) a person in charge of an animal is cruel to an animal if the animal — 

(a) is transported in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm;
(b) is confined, restrained or caught in a manner that — 

(i) is prescribed; or
(ii) causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm;

(c) is worked, driven, ridden or otherwise used — 

(i) when it is not fit to be so used or has been over used; or
(ii) in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm;

(d) is not provided with proper and sufficient food or water;
(e) is not provided with such shelter, shade or other protection from the elements as is reasonably necessary to ensure its welfare, safety and health;
(f) is abandoned, whether at the place where it is normally kept or elsewhere;
(g) is subjected to a prescribed surgical or similar operation, practice or activity;
(h) suffers harm which could be alleviated by the taking of reasonable steps;
(i) suffers harm as a result of a prescribed act being carried out on, or in relation to, it; or
(j) is, in any other way, caused unnecessary harm.


 

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