Live sheep exports: Twin-tier ships on the way out
RSPCA supports the phase out of twin tier ships for live exports
Twin-tier ships are set to be gone from Australia from 1 January 2020 and this can only be good for animal welfare. The phase out should also have minimal effect on the industry with only one two tier ship the Al Shuwaikh currently being used here.
However, despite only a single ship being affected, some in the industry are seeking an extension of time from the scheduled January phase out.
RSPCA says the phase out of twin tier vessels should not be extended because:
- Twin tier vessels increase animal welfare risks due to impeded ventilation flow and inspection of livestock
- Both government and industry have long recognised these increased animal welfare risks which have been recorded in detail by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
- Live export industry has been on notice about a phase out of twin tiers for at least 8 years
- Government has already extended the current phase out timeline by one year
- Other exporters have already made considerable investments in meeting the revised regulatory settings for ventilation and penning arrangements
- Extending the phase out timeline would primarily benefit one shipper and one exporter and could therefore be seen as government favouring particular companies
In light of the extensive evidence of increased welfare risks, a further extension of time would not be received well by the animal welfare sector and would reduce public confidence in the Government’s commitment to improving welfare standards in the trade.