Live export vessel raid rocks the boat


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Questions have been asked after government officials raided a live export vessel in Fremantle.

THE live export vessel Anna Marra (formerly the Awassi Express) was raided by Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD) general inspectors when it was docked at Fremantle Port about 12 days ago to load feed pellets before heading to Broome to pick up a consignment of cattle for Indonesia.

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It was the second reported exercise of a warrant involving DPIRD inspectors looking for evidence regarding the August 2017 voyage in which 2400 sheep perished from heat stress while on route to Kuwait in the Persian Gulf by Emanuel Exports.

The first raid occurred on the Emanuel Exports offices in West Perth last year - which was a surprise to the company and gave the department access to files and documents about the voyage, which the exporter said it would have provided if it was asked.

Federal Member for O'Connor Rick Wilson said it was "appalling that the WA department was harassing the live export trade almost two years after the one off event".

"It's not helping to promote confidence from farmers and the broader community," Mr Wilson said.

WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said she was seeking clarification from DPIRD on the reason for the exercising of a search warrant on the Anna Marra but expected that investigators had identified areas where they may need further evidence to sure up their case.

"There's nothing unusual about that," Ms MacTiernan said.

"There is potentially a gap in evidence and that is not particularly controversial."

Ms MacTiernan said DAWR was still investigating the incident as well but had not heard any comments from Mr Wilson about that.

  • For full story and more fallout on the raid, make sure you get a copy of this Thursday's Farm Weekly.
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