Abat­toir warn­ing is dis­missed

Countryman - - NEWS -

The head of the co-op­er­a­tive run­ning Katan­ning’s abat­toir has re­jected warn­ings that sud­den re­duc­tions in live ex­ports an­nounced this week will over­whelm his in­dus­try.

Western Australian Meat Mar­ket­ing Co-Op­er­a­tive chief ex­ec­u­tive Coll MacRury dis­missed com­ments by WAFarm­ers livestock pres­i­dent David Slade last week which warned ma­jor re­duc­tions in live ex­ports out of WA would “load the abat­toirs up” and that “they are not equipped to take an ex­cess of sheep”.

The com­ments came days af­ter the Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment sus­pended Emanuel Ex­ports’ li­cence, eight months af­ter the deaths of about 2500 sheep on one of their ships head­ing from WA to the Mid­dle East.

Emanuel Ex­ports is the largest live ex­porter be­tween Aus­tralia and the Mid­dle East and the de­ci­sion came within a week of an an­nounce­ment Livestock Ship­ping Services, Aus­tralia’s sec­ond-largest live an­i­mal ex­porter, is sus­pend­ing its oper­a­tions in light of new fed­eral ex­port reg­u­la­tions.

How­ever Mr MacRury, whose Katan­ning abat­toir slaugh­ters about a mil­lion livestock a year, re­jected claims WA abat­toirs could not take on the ex­tra work.

“When you look at the WA ca­pac­ity verses what ex­tra an­i­mals there might pos­si­bly be, I think you’ll find it could be worked through,” he said.

“July to Au­gust are go­ing to be par­tic­u­larly quiet, and so if there’s any boat sheep that ar­rive in that pe­riod it won’t be a prob­lem at all.

“I’d say right through to Oc­to­ber we’ll be pretty safe.”

Mr MacRury’s com­ments in de­fence of the in­dus­try were made be­fore news an­other ma­jor abat­toir had agreed to pur­chase 60,000 sheep Emanuel Ex­ports were set to ship.

He said at this stage the most im­por­tant thing was for the State Gov­ern­ment to make clear its fu­ture plan for live ex­ports.

“What we need is some real fig­ures,” he said.

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