Live Export to Egypt Restarts
Australia will restart its live export trade to Egypt under the ESCAS welfare regulations, the Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has announced.
The Minister says Australia and the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), which makes Australian exporters responsible for the welfare of Australian livestock up until the point of slaughter.
Under the system, exporters can only send Australian livestocks to feedlots and abattoirs to have been approved by the government, because they’ve been found to comply with international welfare standards.
In May 2013, the industry suspended trade with Egypt after animal rights group Animals Australia released a series of videos showing the cruel handling and slaughter of cattle in two Egyptian facilities between October 2012 and April 2013.
On Wednesday, the Federal Department of Agriculture released a report which found that the welfare arrangements in place between Australia and Egypt at the time the footage was taken were insufficient.
It recommended that the live trade to Egypt should only recommence under the ESCAS arrangements.
Western Australia Welcomes Resumption in Trade
Western Australia is a major producer of both cattle and sheep for live export markets, and at least one WA MP expects the resumption in trade with Egypt will have major benefits for WA sheep and cattle exporters.
Rick Wilson is the Liberal MP for the federal electorate of O’Connor, which encompasses much of Western Australia’s southern broadacre agricultural land, as well as pastoral properties in the Goldfields region.
He mentions that opening up another market will relieve the pressure on WA meat producers.
Labor Maintains Live Export Support
Labor’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon has welcomed the news that the live trade to Egypt is set to resume.
He says that both he and the Opposition remains committed to the live trade and to ESCAS, which was introduced by the government in 2011.