Licences at stake in live export crackdown
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.’
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.