A calf escaped from the live export ship Bader III at Port Adelaide. Picture: AAP
A calf escaped from the live export ship Bader III at Port Adelaide. Picture: AAP

Live export: Calf runs for its life from cattle ship

A STRESSED calf escaped in chaotic scenes at Port Adelaide as protesters gathered where the Bader III live export ship was loading cattle.

The calf plunged into the water and attempted to swim off before being hauled out by water police.

The Adelaide Against Live Export group along with about 200 supporters called for a nationwide ban on live exports as the next shipment of animals were loaded.

The protesters carrying signs emblazoned with messages such as "Dead export" and "Baby killers" lined Ocean Steamers Rd and chanted "ban live exports" as trucks carrying cattle arrived.

Protesters hold signs during a ban live export flash rally at Port Adelaide. Picture: AAP / Kelly Barnes
Protesters hold signs during a ban live export flash rally at Port Adelaide. Picture: AAP / Kelly Barnes

Protester Michelle Holden, 53, of Adelaide, described live exporting as "inhumane".

"The conditions on the ship has proven to be unsafe," she said.

Max Galanti, 65, of Woodville, said aside from being cruel to animals, live exporting was not "economically viable"..

"There are slaughterhouses closing all across Australia - it isn't worth it," he said.

It was the second protest by the group at Port Adelaide amid growing political pressure to end the trade, after TV's 60 Minutes showed footage of sheep dying on board a ship to the Middle East.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten last week demanded live exports be suspended until a Federal Government review was completed.

The review will investigate the use of airconditioners on board ships, the agreed stock density, bedding, animal waste management and heat stress risks to animals.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was at the protest and said banning live exports would be her top priority when federal Parliament resumes.

Federal Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young at the protest. Picture: AAP / Kelly Barnes
Federal Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young at the protest. Picture: AAP / Kelly Barnes

Former Liberal minister Sussan Ley is expected to introduce a private members bill next month to stop live exports to the Middle East in the northern summer.

Meanwhile the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council has agreed to drive significant change in the industry and strengthen animal welfare transparency and accountability.

The council last week voted to support an independent observer to travel on voyages to the Middle East during the northern summer in 2018.

"Industry must lead the way in improved animal welfare outcomes and in building a culture and vision that supports this, in alignment with community expectations," ALEC chairman Simon Crean said.

"Exporters are listening to the community and acting decisively to achieve change in the industry. The welfare of the animals and the future of our industry depends on it."

The Bader III live export ship yesterday passed checks by the Federal Government and Australian Maritime Safety Authority before it started loading around 1400 head of cattle.

A further 23,000 sheep, revised down from the original planned 30,000-35,000 sheep, were also expected to be loaded on board the ship before it leaves Port Adelaide bound for the Middle East in the coming days.