Kuwaiti sheep li­cence hopes

Countryman - - FRONT PAGE - Zach Relph

The Aus­tralian arm of a jug­ger­naut Kuwaiti ex­porter says its live ex­port li­cence ap­proval is “im­mi­nent”, po­ten­tially open­ing the door for a loaded sheep ves­sel to leave the State by the end of the month.

Ru­ral Ex­port and Trad­ing WA has been kept in the dark about its live ex­port li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion for al­most two months, after lodg­ing pa­per­work with the Fed­eral Govern­ment on Au­gust 17.

How­ever, a con­fi­dent RETWA gen­eral man­ager, Mike Gor­don, told Coun­try­man the ap­pli­ca­tion to ex­port live­stock could be given the green light “any day now”. Mr Gor­don said that once the

li­cence was ap­proved, the Perth­based Kuwait Live­stock Trans­port and Trad­ing sub­sidiary would aim to ship sheep to the Mid­dle East within three weeks.

“We be­lieve a de­ci­sion on the li­cence is im­mi­nent. . . it is ex­pected any day now,” he said.

“The time­frame would be two to three weeks be­tween re­ceiv­ing the li­cence and ship­ping tak­ing place.

“Hope­fully ship­ping will be by the end of the month — we will see.”

In re­sponse to Coun­try­man’s re­quest for com­ment re­gard­ing RETWA’s li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion sta­tus, the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­tural and Wa­ter Re­sources was non­com­mit­tal.

A de­part­ment spokesman said it would “not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual li­cence ap­pli­ca­tions”.

RETWA has two sheep car­ri­ers based off Fre­man­tle.

The Al Shuwaikh has ca­pac­ity to carry up to 80,000 sheep, while the Al Mes­si­lah can trans­port about 70,000.

KLTT, also known as Al Mawashi, re­ported to the Kuwait Stock Ex­change last month that its board had ap­proved a new live ex­port sub­sidiary to be es­tab­lished in South Africa.

The an­nounce­ment sig­nalled the com­pany’s bid to se­cure a longterm sup­ply of sheep from the south­ern­most tip of the African con­ti­nent.

KLTT is a long-time trad­ing part­ner of ousted ex­porter Emanuel Ex­ports and its sub­sidiary EMS Ru­ral Ex­ports.

Emanuel founder Gra­ham Daws formed RETWA with his Kuwait as­so­ciates in 1974.

The live ex­port fig­ure quit the boards of his own com­pa­nies in July amid the fall­out of a stop on live trade ex­ports, after footage of dead and heat-stressed sheep aboard the Awassi Ex­press bound for the Mid­dle East was made pub­lic in April.

It came a month be­fore Emanuel’s ex­port li­cence was can­celled by the Fed­eral Govern­ment in Au­gust.

The Maysora left Fre­man­tle Port for Live­stock Ship­ping Ser­vices on Septem­ber 22 with about 22,000 wethers on board; the first live sheep to de­part WA since June 6.

Sheep at RETWA’s fa­cil­ity.

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