Author Topic: Livestock exporter warns of new 'Indonesian debacle' in Middle East  (Read 1224 times)

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Livestock exporter warns of new 'Indonesian debacle' in Middle East
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 03:49:12 PM »
A LIVESTOCK exporter has warned the government faces another "Indonesian debacle" in key Middle Eastern markets unless the deadlines to reform the live animal trade are pushed back.

Emanual Exports director Graham Daws said orders from Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig to apply the same processes used for tracking live cattle exports to Indonesia across other export markets by the end of February were "way too ambitious".

In a leaked email sent to members of the government's live export taskforce, Mr Daws said the industry had "grossly underestimated" the work needed to track and audit every animal exported from Australia to an overseas abattoir.

In October, Senator Ludwig announced that the government would oversee a significant shake-up of the industry and force all livestock exporters to ensure their "supply chains" meet international animal welfare standards.

The Gillard government said the new regulations had to apply across livestock markets in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Turkey by the end of February, and to all markets by the end of the year.

But in the email, obtained by The Australian, Mr Daws warns that the Gulf markets - which take the majority of Australia's sheep exports - would stop operating from March 1, if the deadline was not extended.

"We will have another Indonesian debacle on our hands as producers, industry service providers, exporters and all industry associated business comes to a grinding halt," Mr Daws writes.

"I can only urge that we all give appropriate further time to have 'all the ducks in a row' prior to implementing a date for order amendment as the last thing needed is total chaos on 1st March," he says.

The email, which was also sent to primary industry officials across several state and territory governments, further complains that relevant ministers from countries importing Australian livestock need to be better informed about Australia's new regulations.

Animals Australia investigator Lyn White last night hit out at Mr Daws' request for more time, declaring some exporters have sent tens of millions of animals to these markets for thirty years and it was "appalling" they could not ensure by March that animals would receive even the most basic level of welfare standards.

"That they are still wanting the government to allow them to export animals to completely unacceptable circumstances exemplifies their complete lack of ethics and concern for animals in their care," Ms White said.

 by: Lauren Wilson
    From: The Australian
    January 23, 2012 10:44AM