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TAS Country : July 21st 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011 Tasmanian Country 9 Animal welfare paramount to exporters SUZANNE Cass, from Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty, hasn't let the truth getinthewayofagood story (Sheep in dire straits, Tasmanian Country, July 15).But when people's liveli- hoods are affected, she should at least seek out the real facts. Her letter was a sloppy, lazy attack on an industry my grandfather Reg Page pioneered some 48 years ago. I have grown up, like many other Tasmanians, within a family business that prides itself on a hard- earned reputation for al- ways doing the right thing by the animals in our care. I don't need legislation, or the potential jail terms for aggravated cruelty that await bad practices, as an incentive to look after those animals placed in my care. As for the outrageous claim made by Ms Cass that ships turn around because of rough weather, this has never happened in my 26 years in the indus- try.When the forecast is too rough, we are advised by the ship's master that no livestock will be accepted for shipment. This has occurred 11 times in the past five weeks and reinforces the falsity of claims by Ms Cass that animals are sub- jected to sea spray and cold and wintry conditions She also claims no moni- toring is occurring, despite a declaration as to when stock last had food and water. A National Vendor Declaration is signed off by the farmer and carrier; there is evidence at the port weighbridge as to trailer weights and the time of delivery; inspec- tions of loaded trailers are made by AQIS inspectors; and routine checks are conducted by the ship's crew. Export abbatoirs have government vets on site to inspect and deal with any sick or injured animals and add to this the fact that we ship into a port within binocular view of Melbourne's CBD. If, as she claims, she witnessed serious over- loading because sheep were standing with their heads up, she might like to explain what experience she brings to loading cattle and sheep. How would she know what constitutes overloading? Ms Cass needs to back up claims that sheep are on transport without feed or water for two days at the very least. This is just a load of rubbish -- it doesn't happen. Most journeys on Bass Strait are between 20 and 30 hours from time of loading to delivery, and less from our Carrick Agistment Centre to our Melbourne Agistment Centre, with animals at both ends of the journey having immediate access to water. The Australian Trans- port guideines, adopted re- cently, allow for 48 hours off water for sheep and cattle. Ms Cass also claims sheep are being delivered to Dubbo, New South Wales, for slaughter. This doesn't happen either. We take our animal wel- fare responsibilities for the movement of livestock seriously. New ships are being de- signed to take us forward, cutting delivery times. Animal protection on the Bass Strait is at the fore of our discussions with our shipping company. Our company ships hun- dreds of thousands of ani- mals on Bass Strait each year, both northbound and southbound, and would not continue to grow un- less our customers were receiving the stock in good condition on arrival. This is not by chance, it has evolved over 75 years in the livestock transport industry. Geoff Page Manager, Page Transport, Carrick Your Say Let's hear from you Send your opinion to letters to the editor, Tasmanian Country, 93 Macquarie St, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000, fax to (03) 62300711 or e-mail us at email@example.com. com.au Letters to the editor are submitted on condition that Tasmanian Country and licensed third parties have the right to reproduce them electronically. For publication, letters must have the printed or typed full name of the writer. They must also contain the writer's full address and phone number, where possible, for verification. Letters sent by post or fax must also be signed. E-mailed letters must be sent in plain text only and not as an attachment. We reserve the right to condense letters unless they are marked ''use in full or not at all''. Preference will be given to letters of less than 150 words. Apology to Brett Hall IN my letter of July 15, I quoted Brett Hall, chairman of the TFGA Meat Council, as saying ''If we don't do it (abuse our animals) others will''. Mr Hall, in his earlier letter to Tas- manian Country, did not use those words, and the words ''abu- se our animals'' in parentheses were mine. I misquoted Mr Hall and I apologise for doing so. However, I stand by my statements about the live ex- port trade expressed in my letter. Suzanne Cass Stop Tasmanian Animal Cruelty Create certainty. Steer your business through changing interest rates with a NAB Business Markets Loan. Navigate uncertainty. Talk to your NAB Agribusiness Manager, call an Interest Rate Markets Specialist on 1800 019 215 or visit nab.com.au/bml Interest rates are uncertain but you can manage your exposure to interest rate risk. NAB's Business Markets Loan -- the only loan of its type commonly available in Australia -- is a low cost, efficient way to structure your debt to help you manage your cash flow and let you plan ahead. Our Interest Rate Markets Specialists can help you structure a flexible loan using a combination of different interest rate risk management tools that can be changed with a single phone call at any time. As the interest rate landscape changes, so can you. intere t rate avi artin Agribusiness Senior artner, Launceston 0429 313 718 rian ar ie Agribusiness Manager, Launceston 0429 421 335 nna very Agribusiness Manager, Burnie 0419 594 076 rae e ney Agribusiness Manager, obart 0428 579 852 2011 National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 A L/A SL 230686 SB 02_TAS ountMag
July 14th 2011
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