NEWS ANAL­Y­SIS

New reg­u­la­tions ex­pected to be in­tro­duced by Aus­tralia in Q1 2019 could bring an end to the live­stock ex­port trade to the Mid­dle East.

Logistics Middle East - - CONTENTS -

New reg­u­la­tions ex­pected to be in­tro­duced by Aus­tralia in Q1 2019 could bring an end to the live­stock ex­port trade to the Mid­dle East..

While those op­posed to the ex­port of any live an­i­mal con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for Aus­tralia to ban the live trade, the sim­ple truth is if we don’t sup­ply the live­stock to th­ese mar­kets, some­one else will” TONY SEABROOK, AUS­TRALIAN SHEEP FARMER.

The live sheep trade be­tween Aus­tralia and the Mid­dle East is on the brink of erad­i­ca­tion, af­ter the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment re­leased a new test for mea­sur­ing an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards on board live ex­ports ships to the re­gion.

The draft ad­vice re­leased by the gov­ern­ment rec­om­mends tem­per­a­tures on board live ex­port ships to the Mid­dle East reach no higher than a wet bulb tem­per­a­ture of 28 de­grees, which is sig­nif­i­cantly lower than the 45 de­grees typ­i­cally recorded dur­ing the Mid­dle East sum­mer.

The re­port added that un­der the new model “it may not be eco­nomic to ex­port sheep to the Mid­dle East dur­ing the north­ern sum­mer, lead­ing to a ces­sa­tion of trade dur­ing this pe­riod”, ac­cord­ing to the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald.

“Its rec­om­men­da­tions would see a reg­u­la­tory ces­sa­tion of ship­ments to the Mid­dle East be­tween May and Oc­to­ber, with sub­stan­tial re­stric­tions in other months,” the re­port said.

Aus­tralian an­i­mal wel­fare groups, such as An­i­mals Aus­tralia and the RSPCA have said that the re­port “con­firms what live ex­porters have known for decades, that ship­ping Aus­tralian sheep across the high heat months in the Mid­dle East re­sults in egre­gious suf­fer­ing” and is “an­other sig­nif­i­cant step to­wards the live sheep trade’s in­evitable end”.

The Aus­tralian Live­stock Ex­porters’ Coun­cil said the re­view would have “sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on Aus­tralia’s sheep in­dus­try, es­pe­cially in Western Aus­tralia”.

“There is no fu­ture in live sheep ex­port - sheep pro­duc­ers and farm­ing groups must act now to pre­pare for busi­ness be­yond this cruel trade, rather than fight­ing against the in­evitable,” the RSPCA said in a state­ment.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud in­sisted he sup­ported a sus­tain­able live ex­port in­dus­try and said it was up to ex­porters to make their trade vi­able.

“It is clear the sheep ex­port in­dus­try and ship own­ers have not been proac­tive enough in deal­ing with this in the past and must now com­mit to in­vest­ment in bet­ter technology to keep the in­dus­try sus­tain­able,” he said.

“Other in­dus­tries have done this in the past like the im­ple­men­ta­tion of sow stalls in the pork in­dus­try, so the live sheep ex­port in­dus­try and ship com­pa­nies need to in­vest sim­i­larly in new tech­nolo­gies to de­hu­mid­ify their boats,” he said.

“Ex­porters have sig­nif­i­cantly gained fi­nan­cially in the past from this in­dus­try and it’s now im­per­a­tive they re-in­vest back into their in­dus­try im­me­di­ately. ”I there­fore ex­pect the in­dus­try to start to show some lead­er­ship in greater in­vest­ment in an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards,” he added.

The draft ad­vice was a re­sult of the gov­ern­ment’s re­view into the live ex­port trade fol­low­ing the Awassi Ex­press dis­as­ter, when footage emerged ear­lier this year of thou­sands of sheep dy­ing in sear­ing heat. Fi­nal rules are ex­pected by Jan­uary.

Aus­tralian sheep farmer and PGA pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook has hit back at those at­tack­ing the sheep ex­port in­dus­try, say­ing that Aus­tralia is one of the only coun­tries in the world with reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing the treat­ment of live­stock across the sup­ply chain.

“Of the more than 100 coun­tries exporting live­stock around the world, Aus­tralia is the only one that in­vests in en­sur­ing and im­prov­ing an­i­mal wel­fare out­comes through­out the en­tire sup­ply chain, in­clud­ing slaugh­ter in other coun­tries,” he said.

“While those op­posed to the ex­port of any live an­i­mal, whether it is sheep, cat­tle, goats, or camels con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for Aus­tralia to ban the live trade, the sim­ple truth is if we don’t sup­ply the live­stock to th­ese mar­kets, some­one else will.”

Thou­sands of sheep die of heat ex­haus­tion dur­ing each voy­age.

Live­stock ships need to have open pens to al­low proper ven­ti­la­tion.

Aus­tralian sheep farmer and PGA pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook.

Con­di­tions aboard Awassi Ex­press dur­ing a re­cent voy­age from Aus­tralia to the Mid­dle East prompted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud.

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