The Australian Veterinary Association has expressed some disappointment in the McCarthy Review, saying this does not adequately guarantee stronger animal welfare provisions on future live sheep export voyages to the Middle East this year.
The AVA—which made its own in-depth submission to the four-week review by livestock veterinarian Michael McCarthy—said it welcomed the report’s recommendation to replace the mortality measures used to assess voyage risk with health and welfare measures but was concerned that that neither the report—nor the Government—had addressed the impact of heat stress on sheep.
“Irrespective of space allocation, thermoregulatory physiology indicates that sheep on live export voyages to the Middle East during May to October will remain susceptible to heat stress and die due to the expected extreme climatic conditions,” AVA president Dr Paula Parker said.
“Accordingly, voyages carrying live sheep to the Middle East during May to October cannot be recommended.
“Although we’re pleased that our recommendation around minimum increased space allocation based on allometric principles will be adopted immediately, we remain concerned these measures alone will not guarantee the welfare of sheep being exported to the Middle East.”
Now that the review has been released, the AVA said it will continue to liaise with and advise Government, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and other stakeholders to address the health and welfare of sheep on live export voyages to the Middle East.
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.