The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) welcomes news that Australian exporters have agreed to resume livestock exports to Bahrain.
The announcement comes after an 18 month interruption and will boost export volumes and competition for Western Australian sheep producers who have struggled in the past few years due to lack of market access.
The WAFarmers meat section has been fighting hard to regain Bahrain as a market after many years of successful trading prior to the ban, Meat Section President Jeff Murray said.
“Bahrain is a valuable market for Western Australia due to the numbers we can deliver there and the fact they have two port unload system is a great advantage,” Mr Murray said.
Mr Murray said he was disappointed when trade with Bahrain ceased as it was a strong market, contributing to an average of $47 million worth of trade for Australia per year. High standards of animal welfare are an important part of the Bahrain market functioning optimally and exporters comply with strict regulations. The past 18 months have been very tough for sheep producers in WA and the re-opening of this market brings with it light at the end of the tunnel and highlights the improvements that have already been made.
“We know we still have an uphill battle as far as live export is concerned but in the meantime this is a win for the industry,” he said.