Friday, June 12, 2015

It Is Really Just Another Cruise.

Some choose cruising,, others have a cruise sorted for them by family, friends or a social club.

Some cruises are lauded as a great getaway, some can be less than ideal.

A friend and his missus joined a cruise in Sydney bound for Europe via Freemantle, Dubai then through the Med. It did not go well.
From Sydney, through Bass Straight, across the Bight to WA was in seriously  rough weather with the intrepid explorers confined to their cabin battling Seasickness, a recovery opportunity far too brief then not a lot better across the Indian Ocean possibly due to not being able to overcome the unpleasant symptoms had them still cabin bound on arrival in Arabia.
On reaching the Middle East a drastic re-evaluation saw the couple cut their losses, leave the ship, a few days of recovery then complete the journey by Air.

Peter Walsh and associates, an independent Stock and Station outfit operating in the South Island East Coast region, with many sheep farmers currently looking for any opportunity to destock with values that might enhance restocking, purchased on behalf,  around 50 thousand young female sheep at well above slaughter values, aggregated them on a property where they were acclimatised to a diet of water and pellet concentrate food, in the ownership of the purchasing company acting for Mexican Interests.
Earlier this week in a remarkable exercise in  embarkation management those animals judged by people who know about animal husbandry practices, assessed to be fit to travel were loaded and departed on a journey of a lifetime for Mexico where they will play a part in rebuilding a sheep industry there, somewhat reduced due to adverse similar  climatic events to those that Eastcoast SI has endured in autumn 2015.

Why would they not maintain as much secrecy as possible as events subsequent to the revelation has amply demonstrated.

Now 50 000 sheep seems a big number and for many it is beyond understanding but there are such sized flocks in ownership in New Zealand, the Lochinver Station flock as advertised in a recent controversial sale opportunity was Over 60 000 head of sheep.

The diet?  just take a drive through Cheviot and there are many head of sheep of all ages being maintained on a diet of concentrates in the fading hope that something will grow soon.

Spend a week on any farm and it becomes apparent that sheep can die from any of many afflictions, metabolic disorders, clostridial infections, bronchial ailments, Inflamed bowel, internal parasites and that is just a few of many afflictions waiting to strike.
 AS my old dad often opined, "where there are live ones there will be dead ones",  in spite of very best care.
The 50 000 sheep have no ownership by any New Zealand entity as they were prepared and then loaded, they are merely subject to our laws of care, responsibility and health laws of transport and husbandry and I have a strong feeling there will be many flocks and individual animals suffering a lower standard of husbandry throughout the country as I write.

Peter Walsh and his colleagues are only involved as agents being recompensed by way of standard commission structures.

The animals on the cruise are of a far lower meat attraction as females on a somewhat mythical idea that castrated males have a stronger taste, a fact that is only relevant when the castration is delayed until sexual maturity onset is apparent. I would doubt more than a lucky few could differentiate between female meat and that from correctly de-sexed immature males.

One Vet to handle any health issues that might arise! sheesh what arrant nonsense in the extreme, there will be many flocks in this country that could exceed the numbers in the concentrated and closely observed consignment currently under the microscope, with the added complications that would present from many and varied causal conditions including foods, disease, infections, environmental, gunshots, dog attacks, whatever.
In the real world on NZ farms Vets would only be consulted in a very small number of sheep deaths where intelligent and caring shepherds will in an instant understand in very short time what a death probably occurred from and a valid and correct avoidance protocol that will be needed to prevent further deaths. Only in the absence of such a suspicious death indications will professional advice be sought.

With a suggested value around 15 million dollars it is fanciful those involved will be flirting with the operation in any way to  cause that value to erode.

Hans Kreik could be far better employed in South Auckland looking out for two legged animals being subjected to far lower standards of care than any of the ovines on that cruise liner.

That Andrew Little, and so many fellow ignorant people should be wishing to clamber onboard a protest flotilla opposing what is just another export of NZ primary produce with so much inane and ill-informed opinion, is laughable but with an equally ignorant media involved analysing  matters of trade, and very heavily legislatively constrained everyday activity involving animal welfare, such idiocy was of no great surprise.

The choice between a short trip to the Freezing Works and a 9 day cruise to Mexico does not take long to decide which is the more attractive.


Chris said...

Well put, GD. Some of the comments about this shipment show that many people are ignorant of farming practices and just because they can they think they know it all.
Newstalk ZB morning host on Wellington am which we get here in the Sounds has been showing his ignorance over the past few days and he kept on about it all morning. Needs to get out onto some farms and see how things really are.

The Veteran said...

GD ... sage post. It's really quite simple. Mexican farmers looking to restock following their destocking caused by drought and NZL farmers looking to destock because of their draught. Willing buyer vs willing seller ... seized upon by the cardy wearing, chardonnay swilling efete who would puke their hearts out inside a freezing works and who think that roast lamb is born in shrink wrapped plastic.

Paulus said...

I read that for each sheep the Farmers have received USD300.
Rather more than the freezing works.

Chris said...

Paulus, I think you will find that that is what they will be worth when they get to Mexico.
This from an article in the Ashburton Guardian.

"Farmers were offered $120 to $130 per head for their lambs – 35 per cent more than current Canterbury prices and up to 55 per cent in other areas."

Still very good money though

The Veteran said...

Chris ... this cannot be right. Heaven forbid in the lexicon of Labour and the Greens ... that the farmers should 'profit' from this venture. Such is the world of the cardy wearing, chardonnay swilling effete.