Emanuel Exports and directors Graham Daws and Michael Stan-ton were charged with animal cruelty in relation to a shipment of sheep sent to the Middle East on the MV al Kuwait in Novem-ber 2003, of which 1340 died.
The prosecution based its argument on the fact that a number of those sheep that died were a certain class of sheep, that is A class wethers and Muscat wethers. These are both heavier and older classes of sheep. A class wethers average 70kg bodyweight, while Muscat wethers average 65-66kg.
The crown¹s case does not relate to the whole voyage, with the prosecution alleging that the harm occurred when the fat, adult wethers were placed on the ship.
The prosecution also alleged that there was not proper food on board the ship to treat sheep that were shy feeders.
They allege that hay or chaff should have been on board the ship to feed sheep that did not take to pellets.
The defence alleged that because the sheep were on a ship owned by Kuwait company KLTT, and that ship was captained by a KLTT employee, Emanuel Exports responsibility for the sheep ended once they had being loaded.
The defence also stated that Emanuel Exports had met all regulations under Commonwealth law and had actually being given approval by the Commonwealth or AQIS to ship sheep overseas.
Defence lawyer Tony Bannon said it was not a criminal offence to ship heavy sheep to the Middle East under Commonwealth law, yet the crown was saying that it was a criminal offence under state legislation.