Author Topic: Ludwig off to the Middle East to promote his meaningless regulations  (Read 1172 times)

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Ludwig off to the Middle East to promote his meaningless regulations
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 03:49:57 PM »
THE Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig, will travel to the Middle East this week to discuss stringent animal welfare standards that come into effect in March.

Senator Ludwig faces a growing backlash from Australian exporters over a lack of consultation over the new rules.

Fairfax Media reported yesterday that live sheep exporters to the Middle East declared they would not be ready for the animal welfare guidelines that are due to begin on March 1.
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It was also reported that many Middle Eastern countries are hoping for the deadline to be extended and that there was lack of consultation with stakeholders over the guidelines.

Senator Ludwig, who will meet government representatives and importers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, said responsibility lay with Australian exporters to actively pursue commercial arrangements that are in line with the new requirements.

The president of the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Ian McColl, said it appreciated Senator Ludwig's visit, which would also involves industry representatives.

''We recognise the end-February deadline for phase one was always an ambitious target,'' Mr McColl said.

''We will continue to work with all stakeholders to implement and deliver the new requirements, especially in relation to animal welfare,'' he said.

The opposition spokesman on agriculture, John Cobb, said the $1 billion live export trade was reeling because of Senator Ludwig's incompetence and the government was now being forced to make an embarrassing emergency trade mission.

"The failure of the Gillard government to talk to Middle Eastern countries about our $200 million live sheep market and the looming 29 February 2012 deadline for export accreditation, threaten to grind the trade to a halt,'' Mr Cobb said.

He said that because there were different rules in different countries, it was ''ludicrous'' to set an arbitrary implementation date for the new supply chain rules.

The Meat & Livestock Australia's 2012 outlook has predicted that total live exports would decrease 16 per cent because of Indonesia's decision to reduce its cattle intake.