PRESS RELEASE: Call for live exporter's licence to be revoked.

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On FEB 22, 2008

Animals Australia is calling on the Federal government to revoke the export licence of live export company Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd based on the findings and evidence presented in the recent high profile live export cruelty case.

On February 8th, Magistrate Catherine Crawford found that Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd and two of its directors had breached the WA Animal Welfare Act - but then acquitted the defendants on the basis of inconsistencies between Commonwealth and State law.

"Emanuel's might have been acquitted on a technicality, but serious questions as to the fitness of Emanuel's to hold an export licence have been raised by the finding of the magistrate and the evidence presented by the defence,"said Animals Australia's Executive Director Glenys Oogjes

Animals Australia has written to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DAFF) calling on him to review Emanuel's export licence and to investigate apparent breaches of the exporter's licence revealed in Emanuel's evidence. Animals Australia has also provided DAFF with excerpts from the trial transcript.

"The granting of export licences is subject to a number of considerations. Before granting a licence the Secretary is to have regard to (amongst other things) whether a person in management has been charged with an offence, or whether they have failed to comply with a condition of an export licence."

"Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd, and its directors Mr Daws and Mr Stanton have been charged with an offence - the Magistrate found that the Animal Welfare Act had been breached - and that should have been enough to require the Secretary of DAFF to cancel Emanuel's export licence. As well as that, the trial transcript reveals breaches of Emanuel's export licence which is why we are calling on DAFF to investigate this as a matter of urgency."

At one stage the defence counsel admitted that the arrangement relating to the onboard stockman "doesn't come within a bull's roar" of satisfying Emanuel's obligation under the relevant standard.

This is not the first time that Mr Daws fitness to hold an export licence has been called into question. In 2003, Mr Daws was Managing Director of live export company RETWA when its licence was suspended by DAFF due to four high mortality shipments. On one of those shipments 5,800 sheep died. During this suspension Mr Daws was able to continue to export animals under an export licence held by Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd -- an unacceptable loophole since closed by the Federal government.

"The Australian community's faith in the ability of existing legislation to protect animals subjected to live export has been severely rocked by the inability of the magistrate to convict Emanuel's and Mr Daws despite finding cruelty proven.

"Animals Australia is calling on the Federal government to revoke Emanuel's export licence. Anything less, when they have clearly contravened the government's requirements of exporters, will show that the government is not serious about calling this industry to account.

Click here for more information on the 'Al Kuwait' case.

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