Australia’s live sheep shipments resume to Middle East

Zach RelphCountryman
Sheep boarding the Al Messilah vessel docked at Fremantle Port on Sunday.
Camera IconSheep boarding the Al Messilah vessel docked at Fremantle Port on Sunday. Credit: Cally Dupe

Live sheep industry figureheads are confident exporters will maintain high animal welfare standards after a more than three-month halt on shipments was lifted, reigniting the trade’s resumption.

Rural Export and Trading WA, a Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading Company subsidiary, loaded about 54,390 sheep onto the Al Messilah at the weekend before the vessel left Fremantle Port at 5.15pm on Monday.

The voyage, which is destined for Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, marked the first live sheep shipment from Australia after the Federal Government’s extended three-month standstill on the trade ended on Sunday.

There were also 467 cattle aboard.

Sheep eating after being loaded onto the Al Messilah at Fremantle Port on Sunday.
Camera IconSheep eating after being loaded onto the Al Messilah at Fremantle Port on Sunday. Credit: Cally Dupe

RETWA general manager Mike Gordon welcomed the vessel’s departure and said the livestock exporter endeavoured to uphold top-class animal welfare standards.

“We will be doing our absolute best to ensure the animals are delivered to the customers in the best condition,” he said.

The three-month live sheep shipping moratorium was implemented on June 1 and intended to remain in place until August 31.

However, the standstill was extended to September 22, with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources citing the decision was made on the “best available science and evidence”.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails