Labor has demanded two ships full of sheep bound for the Middle East be stopped, as animal welfare groups warn the vessels are unfit for humane live exports.

The opposition’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the planned voyages would not meet animal welfare concerns, reiterating his party’s call for a ban of the northern summer trade.

“Those vessels should not be sailing,” Mr Fitzgibbon told 5AA radio on Monday.

“They’re sailing because the government has spent the last five years doing nothing and created this situation.”

Emanuel Exports, the company which chartered the Awassi ship to the Middle East on which 2400 sheep died in filth and extreme heat last year, is nearing another live export voyage.

Despite the Awassi being cleared, Emanuel is using the Al Messilah.

More than 3000 sheep died from extreme heat on board that ship in 2016.

Another controversial Middle East-bound livestock ship, the Bader III, is expected to arrive in Fremantle late on Friday after leaving Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Mr Fitzgibbon backed concerns raised by RSPCA chief scientist Bidda Jones, who said ships on which cruelty had happened should meet regulatory standards before being allowed to sail.

“The big question is are the standards high enough, given the minister’s department found the Awassi met all those standards?” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The government has vowed to crack down on exporters who fail to meet welfare standards, with a raft of reviews underway into the maligned trade.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has ruled out banning live exports, saying he wants to wait for scientific evidence before taking major action.

But the door remains ajar for an end to voyages to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer pending the outcome of a veterinarian-led review.

Source: newstage.com

Hits: 11