Ex­ports un­der threat from probe

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jenne Bram­mer

The north­ern cat­tle in­dus­try faces ma­jor un­cer­tainty after the Fed­eral Govern­ment is­sued one of the re­gion’s big­gest live ex­porters with a show-cause no­tice.

In­ter­na­tional Live­stock Ex­ports, re­spon­si­ble for about 70 per cent of live ex­ports from Broome, was given the no­tice be­cause for­mer Emanuel Ex­ports boss Gra­ham Daws is a ma­jor share­holder, so the two com­pa­nies are con­sid­ered to have an “as­so­ci­a­tion”.

Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Emma White said if the Govern­ment pro­ceeded with fur­ther steps of sus­pend­ing or can­celling ILE’s li­cence, the eco­nomic im­pact could be as dev­as­tat­ing as the 2011 live ex­port ban to In­done­sia.

“It would have ma­jor ram­i­fi­ca­tions for pas­toral­ists, the whole in­dus­try and re­gion,” Ms White said.

“Pas­toral­ists are un­der­stand­ably ex­tremely ner­vous at the mo­ment.”

The De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources is­sued the show-cause no­tice upon con­cerns ILE could be in­flu­enced to sup­ply Emanuel’s usual mar­kets in the Mid­dle East after can­celling Emanuel’s li­cence. ILE manag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Stan­ton said his com­pany re­sponded to the no­tice by last Mon­day’s dead­line with a 60-page sub­mis­sion.

The sub­mis­sion stated it was not pos­si­ble for ILE to ex­port sheep to the Mid­dle East given the re­quire­ment for an ap­proved ex­port pro­gram to sup­ply those mar­kets, which would re­quire ap­proval by DAWR.

Mr Stan­ton said also sup­port­ing his com­pany’s case was the re­quire­ment for any ex­porter to be part of the Ex­porter Sup­ply Chain As­sur­ance Sys­tem for those mar­kets, which ILE was not, and would also re­quire DAWR ap­proval.

He said ILE had, as re­cently as July, sent a small num­ber of fat­tailed sheep to the Mid­dle East but had since closed that sup­ply chain after the client ended its breed­ing busi­ness in WA. “While we are con­fi­dent we have clearly demon­strated ILE can­not be in­flu­enced, this ac­tion by DAWR makes us ner­vous,” Mr Stan­ton said.

“We have 20,000 cat­tle in the sys­tem for our sched­ule of ship­ments.

“If we had to stop oper­at­ing, this would cause ma­jor an­i­mal wel­fare is­sues and would not be in the best in­ter­est of the in­dus­try.”

ILE ex­ports or ar­ranges pro­cess­ing for about 130,000 cat­tle a year, most from the Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara, and are ex­ported via Broome and Fre­man­tle to South-East Asia.

“It sup­plies a small num­ber of sheep to the same mar­kets.”

Mr Stan­ton said ILE had made sub­stan­tial cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in the north­ern re­gion, in­clud­ing a ma­jor feed­lot in Broome, and reg­u­larly bought “un­mar­ketable” cat­tle be­fore im­prov­ing their qual­ity.

The demise of Emanuel Ex­ports, WA’s big­gest live ex­porter, started with a show-cause no­tice in May after footage emerged of an­i­mals dy­ing from heat aboard one of its ships on a voy­age to the Mid­dle East. Emanuel’s li­cence was sus­pended, then can­celled fol­low­ing an in­quiry.

The li­cences for its sub­sidiary EMS Ru­ral were also can­celled.

DAWR would not com­ment.

It would have ma­jor ram­i­fi­ca­tions for . . . the whole in­dus­try and re­gion. Emma White

Cat­tle at Broome on a live ex­port ship bound for In­done­sia.

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