Research into dehumidification
22 March 2019
The Federal Government will grant $2.2 million for research into using dehumidification to reduce heat stress on live export ships.
High humidity is a key factor which causes heat stress – a vital part of the "wet bulb" combination of heat and humidity. With humidity removed, animals are much more comfortable. The research will be overseen by LiveCorp.
"We'll contribute funding to a live export industry trial to test dehumidification technology on live export ships," Minister Littleproud said.
"The research project will trial dehumidification technology on an empty livestock ship in the Middle East and assess whether it can become a commercial reality.
"After that, the dehumidifiers would need to be tested on a commercial shipment.
"Potentially, this research could produce results which help other parts of agriculture.
"I do wish this research had been done by the industry years ago."
Minister Littleproud wrote to LiveCorp and ALEC in December urging them to research dehumidification immediately.
The results of the initial trial will be back long before the self-imposed June through August ban on live exports ends this year.
The announcement follows the first Independent Inspector-General for Live Animal Exports, Ross Carter, starting work this week overseeing the regulation of the industry. The Animal Welfare Branch of the Department of Agriculture is now operating and the new Principal Regulatory Officer is now working in the Department, overseeing live export and animal welfare activities and supervising the application of the regulation.
Independent observers are already on all live export ships to the Middle East.