Author Topic: Australia exports jobs by supporting slaughterhouses in the Middle East  (Read 2454 times)

WA Export News

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Australia exports jobs by supporting slaughterhouses in the Middle East
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 09:53:33 AM »
 WA livestock gets Middle East fillip  A Jordanian company plans to build at least three abattoirs in the Middle East to process live sheep and cattle exports from WA in a boost for the local industry.

WA-based Livestock Shipping Services said its parent, the Hijazi and Ghosheh Group, would invest up to $110 million in new abattoirs, feedlots and logistics services. 

     WA livestock gets Middle East fillipLivestock Shipping Services managing director Ahmad Ghosheh. Picture: Rebecca Turner/Countryman
All of the facilities would be built to comply with animal welfare standards required under the  exporter supply chain assurance scheme (ESCAS) introduced last year by the Federal Government. HGG would operate the abattoirs, with Australian staff working as supervisors.

LSS managing director Ahmad Ghosheh said the investment would create market opportunities for WA farmers and lead to greater future trade certainty by  reducing the risk of ESCAS breaches.

Mr Ghosheh said LSS and HGG were committed to making sure  the standards were met from the time livestock left Australian farms through to slaughter.

"This is part of $800 million in  investment designed to service Australian livestock," he said. "That is investment in buying from Australian farms and in our ships and facilities in the Middle East."

LSS estimates its exports of sheep and cattle will increase by more than 30 per cent to supply the new abattoirs, expected to begin  operating by the end of next year.

LSS exported about one million sheep and 165,000 cattle this year, with 75 per cent of its shipments loaded at Fremantle and 10 per cent at Port Hedland and Broome.

Two abattoirs will be built in Gulf countries and one in north Africa, but Mr Ghosheh would not reveal the exact locations.  He said the investment would involve a minimum of three abattoirs.

HGG already operates six abattoirs and feedlots in the Middle East and has nine ships exporting from Australia and South America.

The RSPCA and other key animal welfare groups are campaigning to end live exports and the industry has been rocked by harrowing images of cruelty in Indonesia, Pakistan and Israel in the past 18 months.

RSPCA Australia chief scientist Bidda Jones questioned the value of ESCAS safeguards this week after an Israeli journalist revealed footage of sheep and cattle being mistreated at an abattoir which received a tick of approval under the ESCAS auditing system in July.

One of the cattle in the footage, taken between September and  October, was part of an LSS shipment to Israel's Bakar Tnuva abattoir which left Fremantle in February. LSS said it had not made a shipment to Bakar Tnuva since February, months before the rollout of the ESCAS system in Israel. Both LSS and Elders imposed an indefinite ban on exports to the abattoir after the footage was made public in Israel on December 6.

Elders, which initiated the July audit, shipped cattle from Geraldton to the abattoir in August and November but said none of its livestock appeared in the footage.

 Brad Thompson, The West Australian December 15, 2012,