Live sheep exports – the next steps

After the regrettable announcement yesterday of the suspension of the export licence for EMS Rural Exports, it is now uncertain when Emmanuel Exports and Kuwait Livestock Transport Trading will be able to resume their shipping services.

President of WAFarmers, Tony York said it remains unclear whether there will be a pathway available to Emmanuel exports allowing them to resume shipping services in the future, however advice from Minster Littleproud, suggest there remains the opportunity for other exporters to continue trading with our customers during the summer months.

“WAFarmers understands that the sheep destined to be shipped to the Middle East by Emmanuel Exports remain in good health and there is no immediate concern for their wellbeing,” he said.

“Under current state regulations it is difficult to release livestock from quarantine back into an on-farm management situation. A maintenance ration being utilised is not unusual and is standard practice for producers holding stock. These types of rations are specifically designed to maintain sheep health when paddock grazing is not an option.

“In light of the recent export licence suspension of Emanuel Exports and EMS Rural Exports, other exporters who intended to ship under the McCarthy Review recommendations are now reassessing whether they will be able to continue shipments over the next few months. This had been further complicated by the uncertainty created by the served notice from Animals Australia to take legal action against the Independent Regulator.”

Explanations from the Minister Littleproud office has led WAFarmers to understand that if an export licence upholding the guidelines and restrictions currently in place was granted, this proposed legal action would not stop that licenced shipment proceeding. Given these indicators, WAFarmers believes there would be support for any exporter prepared to work under the recommended summer month guidelines.

This is offering some hope to producers who were preparing themselves for the concerning and costly consequences of the possibility of planning to hold extra stock through there being no trade until November. 

“The need for revised planning is still critical for the welfare of animals that may have been retained for sale to the live export trade. WAFarmers would urge all graziers and producers to plan these changes at their earliest convenience to allow as much time as possible to gather feed and order rations as required,” Mr York said. 

WAFarmers urges the Federal Regulator to find a speedy resolution to these issues. There is a process that must be followed but the sooner there is definitive guidance allowing producers to act upon management options the better. The priority must be the best care for their livestock in whatever situation. WAFarmers will continue working with authorities and regulators to find a process that will allow the trade to continue.  


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