Li­cences at stake in live ex­port crack­down

The West Australian - - WEST BUSINESS - Zach Relph The Coun­try­man

The Fed­eral an­i­mal wel­fare reg­u­la­tor has warned it will strip live sheep ex­port li­cences from live­stock car­ri­ers if tough pro­posed ship­ping stan­dards are en­forced and then not met.

Live ex­porters and sheep pro­duc­ers fear rec­om­men­da­tions made in a strict heat-stress risk as­sess­ment draft re­port, re­leased on De­cem­ber 13, could be en­forced af­ter an in­dus­try feed­back pe­riod closes on Jan­uary 31.

The De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources has sig­nalled in­tent to en­force the new HSRA set­tings, which in­cludes a 28C wet bulb tem­per­a­ture limit for Mid­dle East-des­tined ships, this year.

DAWR had been coy about what penal­ties would be im­posed on live sheep ex­porters who failed to meet the heat­stress re­quire­ments, which will form a com­po­nent of the new Aus­tralian Stan­dards for the Ex­port of Live­stock, since the pro­pos­als were an­nounced.

When queried by West­Busi­ness, a DAWR spokesman said live sheep ex­porters were at risk of li­cence sus­pen­sion or can­cel­la­tion if the pro­pos­als were en­forced and not ad­hered to.

“Ex­porters are re­quired to demon­strate that con­sign­ments com­ply with the re­quire­ments of ASEL and the HSRA prior to be­ing ap­proved,” he said.

“As with all ASEL re­quire­ments, if neg­li­gence or in­ten­tional

‘If neg­li­gence or in­ten­tional dis­re­gard of re­quire­ments is iden­ti­fied the de­part­ment can take ac­tions ... in­clud­ing the sus­pen­sion, re­vo­ca­tion or can­cel­la­tion of li­cence.’

DAWR spokesman

dis­re­gard of re­quire­ments is iden­ti­fied the de­part­ment can take ac­tions against li­censed live­stock ex­porters up to and in­clud­ing the sus­pen­sion, re­vo­ca­tion or can­cel­la­tion of li­cence.”

Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook has re­mained in strong op­po­si­tion to the re­port’s rec­om­men­da­tions since it was made pub­lic, warn­ing it would wipe out WA’s live sheep in­dus­try if in­tro­duced.

Mr Seabrook last week ques­tioned what penal­ties would be is­sued to live ex­porters who failed to meet the “un­rea­son­able” heat-stress re­quire­ments, un­der the draft re­port.

DAWR can­celled prom­i­nent live sheep ex­porter Emanuel Ex­ports’ ex­port li­cence on Au­gust 21 in the wake of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a se­ries of con­tro­ver­sial voy­ages to the Mid­dle East. The de­ci­sion ef­fec­tively put WA’s live sheep in­dus­try on ice, with most sheep des­tined for the Mid­dle East sold into do­mes­tic abat­toirs.

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