During a 24-hour Middle East stopover last month, Agriculture Department Secretary Andrew Metcalfe and ambassador Melissa Kelly reportedly met officials from Kuwait’s food safety and agriculture affairs departments to tell them about the government’s policy to phase out live exports in the second term of a Labor administration. Now the Live Ex industry is bellyaching that they should have gone to the Trade Minister and even that the Kuwaiti government will reportedly register its concerns about a diplomatic gaffe.
How very interesting - one would assume that if that was the case, they would have been informed that by the food safety and agriculture affairs departments in Kuwait. How was it even possible to set up the meeting if it was such a diplomatic gaffe? An outsider could be blamed for thinking that once again the live ex industry is dictating to governments, in this case perhaps both Australia and Kuwait. No doubt they were most peturbed to hear that Mr Metcalfe said there was “quite significant interest” from government officials about the potential for chilled or frozen lamb meat to be exported to Kuwait instead of live sheep. Who would have thought....!