Live sheep ship gets go-ahead
A ship containing 56,000 sheep has been given the green light to set sail for Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, despite an eleventh hour attempt by the activist group Animals Australia to block the voyage.
The sheep at a pre-export quarantine facility at Baldivis will be loaded aboard the MV Ocean Drover this weekend as planned, after exporter Rural Export and Trading received confirmation from the Federal regulator that it would receive its export permit today.
The company faced two days of uncertainty after Animals Australia lodged an objection meaning RETWA, owned by Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading, was given less than 48 hours to respond to a 700-page legal submission.
A RETWA spokesman said attempts to block the shipment were based on historic activity rather than any current data relevant to RETWA, which operates under a new industry regime, including reduced stocking densities of up to 28 per cent.
The shipment will mark the last voyage before the three-month northern hemisphere summer hiatus on shipping sheep to the Middle East starts on June 1.
Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Animals Australia’s actions were not a constructive way to deal with live export issues.
“A last-minute attempt to stop the shipment just causes chaos, and creates a whole new potential animal welfare issue for the sheep that are in a feedlot awaiting export,” she said.
She said rules and regulations for exporters into the future could be finalised during the summer pause.
Since receiving its export licence in November, RETWA had achieved a strong animal welfare record, with mortalities well under the reportable one per cent threshold, the company spokesman said.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails