WA exporters face animal welfare probe

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian

A Jordanian-owned company which operates out of WA is at the centre of allegations from Animals Australia which have rocked the live sheep export industry.

Livestock Shipping Services is under investigation over claims that about 10,000 sheep have been held at locations in Jordan which are not part of approved supply chains. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry investigation also involves Wellard, another WA-based exporter which operates in Jordan.

AA has also alleged that some sheep are being sold outside approved supply chains in Kuwait.

The DAFF investigations were announced on the eve of Eid, one of the most important days on the Islamic calendar and a time when animals are slaughtered and shared with family, friends and the needy.

The Jordan allegations point to a systemic rather than isolated breakdown in the Federal Government's controversial exporter supply chain assurance system.

AA said local vendors were simply removing ear tags in an attempt to prevent tracking of sheep.

Australian Livestock Exporters' Council chief executive Alison Penfold called for tough penalties if the allegations were true given the serious animal welfare implications.

"We know that this could mean animals being placed in car boots, and slaughtered in backyards at home - circumstances that simply do not meet acceptable welfare standards," Ms Penfold said.

LSS managing director Ahmad Ghosheh did not return calls from _WestBusiness _.

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