A ship has departed Fremantle port in Western Australia, bound for the middle East as the live export sheep trade resumed from the country this week.
The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council has said: “The industry has seen major reform in the last 12 months, accepting all recommendations from reviews and the industry-led moratorium during the northern summer period.”
A report by ABC News (Australia) outlined that members of the media, veterinary students and sheep farmers were also invited on board to see how the live export industry has responded to industry and regulators.
The holding pens have new features including reduced numbers and increased ventilation as well as automatic food and water systems to allow animal access at all times.
It noted: “As well as this, during the two-week journey of the 56,000 sheep, increased numbers of trained staff will be on board the ship to monitor the health of the sheep.”
According to the report by the Australian news publisher, the reason for increasing transparency in the industry is a new industry collective to break down any negative public perception of the industry.
Commenting on the increased welfare standards, government-accredited veterinarian Renee Willis said: “The Australian public knows that the industry is mindful of animal welfare and we are making changes.”
According to the report, the federal government has put the industry on notice.
Australian Federal Agriculture minister, Bridget McKenzie, said: “I think the regulator has the right settings in place. I’ve been speaking with industry and they know they need to maintain great animal welfare outcomes for all voyages.”