VALE strongly commends the Dept for upholding the science- and animal welfare- based Moratorium on shipments of sheep travelling to the Middle East in the northern summer months (see DAWE media release below).
This was a test case with a Covid outbreak delaying the departure of the Al Kuwait from Fremantle. There was strong pressure on the Govt by the public, advocacy groups and veterinary associations (including the AVA) to uphold science, voyage analysis and animal welfare. However, live ex is a powerful industry and the Govt had a bruising day yesterday with the Court ruling that a former Minister of Ag had acted with misfeasance in suspending the northern cattle trade to Indonesia in 2011 after A Bloody Business in a response to animal welfare abuse in Indonesia.
The decision to uphold the moratorium is even more remarkable in that light.
Live export exemption not granted
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has made the decision to not grant Rural Export and Trading (WA) Pty Ltd an exemption to export livestock after 1 June.
The livestock vessel Al Kuwait was unable to depart prior to June 1 as planned, following confirmed cases of COVID-19 among crew members.
The exporter submitted an application to the department for exemption from the June 1 export deadline under the Australian Meat and Live‑stock Industry (Prohibition of Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East—Northern Summer) Order 2020, including an Animal Welfare Management Plan.
Following consideration of all relevant matters under the legislation, including animal welfare and trade implications, the department has taken the decision not to grant an exemption to the exporter.
The livestock that was to be exported in this consignment remain at registered premises and the department is satisfied there are no welfare concerns.
A detailed statement of reasons for this decision will be released later this week.