WAFarmers welcomes the long awaited decision by the regulator to approve the export licence of Rural Export and Trading WA (RETWA), the Australian company that Kuwait Livestock and Transport and Trading (KLTT) operate through.
WAFarmers President Tony York said this is a positive step forward for the live export trade in Western Australia.
“The Western Australian agriculture industry has felt tremendous stress over the past four months due to the sudden halt in live trade, particularly losing the opportunity to service the Islamic religious festivals,” Mr York said.
“KLTT is one of Australia’s biggest sheep buyers, importing 1.28 million Australian sheep in 2017. WAFarmers is pleased with this outcome and hopes that now RETWA’s export licence has been granted, the live sheep trade can kick into full swing.
“We understand that RETWA aim to send sheep to the Middle East within three weeks, which should inject some confidence back into the industry.
“WAFarmers are certain that with the recent changes to conditions of sheep exporting which will see a 17.5 percent lower density rate than the current ASEL standards and the implementation of the McCarthy recommendations, any shipment of animals to the Middle East will be done under the highest welfare standards to ensure the animals wellbeing.
Chair of the WAFarmers Export Committee Jeff Murray said the industry looks forward to other licenses being granted to enhance competition in the market place.
“This gives me some certainty about planning for the 2019 season,” Mr Murray said.
“Sheep farmers are not the only ones hurting from the halt in exports, and we are hopeful that the RETWA export licence approval will bring some much needed stability and assurance to farmers, transporters, feedlotters and all involved across the trade.”