Bahrain demonstrated last year that the MOU between Australia and Bahrain is not worth the paper it was written on. 22000 sheep paid a bitter price for this disregard and their rejection. Thus, the resumption of live sheep exports to Bahrain is completely inappropriate.
It also makes no economic sense. Exports to Bahrain were suspended in August 2012, and its live shipments were replaced with about 10,000 tonnes of chilled meat. Oh yes, Middle Eastern customers are sophisticated enough to want chilled meat (what a surprise). So, with consumers happy and with Australian jobs disappearing in manufacturing, the transition from live export to a chilled meat trade should more than ever be a priority.
So why go backwards when we are now adding value to our exports and getting better animal welfare outcomes?