WAFarmers is supportive of the new three-month moratorium in sheep shipments to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer, endorsed by the members of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC).
WAFarmers President Tony York said the moratorium will mean no shipments of Australian sheep will depart Australia for the Middle East during the highest heat-stress risk period, which will take effect 1 June 2019.
“WAFarmers are confident this moratorium will provide certainty to sheep producers and the wider community and will aid in growing a strong, sustainable nine-month-a-year live sheep trade,” Mr York said.
WAFarmers Livestock President David Slade said WAFarmers are supportive of the moratorium if the exporters cannot guarantee the welfare of the sheep over the summer period.
“Not shipping during the northern summer period is a sensible way forward with the current ship designs and ventilation systems.
“This decision by exporters permits the industry to plan ahead and realign their production and selling options.
“Shipping over a designated nine month period will allow the industry to meet contract arrangements.
“Without confidence that the industry will continue, regional communities will suffer as jobs disappear.
“The decision allows the industry time to test new welfare standards to further improve the standards recently adopted.
“Although the moratorium will without a doubt have an impact of farm gate returns, WAFarmers are supportive of this decision and the commitment shown by the exporters.
“We must all work together to develop a live export program that ensures the most beneficial welfare outcome for the sheep and all concerned within the trade.”