News National Live sheep industry will halt exports to Middle East in summer

Live sheep industry will halt exports to Middle East in summer

The harsh reality of a live exporter
Australian sheep on their long, one-way journey to slaughter in the Middle East. Photo: Icanimal
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Australia will not export live sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer next year.

Livestock exporters have today told farmers they will stop the trade of live sheep for three months from June 1, 2019.

Amid growing calls to impose a ban, the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC) chairman Simon Crean said the industry-imposed moratorium would provide certainty for farmers.

“This is about maintaining and growing a strong, viable, nine-month-a-year live sheep trade, and more broadly securing the future of Australia’s livestock export industry,” Mr Crean said.

The live sheep trade to the Middle East needs to be reset.”

The northern summer trade of live sheep is estimated to be worth $55 million per year.

A third of sheep produced in Western Australia are bred for live export.

Key crossbenchers Rebekha Sharkie, Kerryn Phelps and Andrew Wilkie this week renewed calls to ban the trade.

The Labor Opposition has committed to phase out the live export of sheep over five years if elected next year.

Pressure to end live sheep exports was ignited when damning footage emerged in April revealing more than two thousand sheep died onboard the Awassi Express in transit from Australia to the Middle East in August 2017.

When footage of that incident was made public, the Federal Agriculture Minister Mr Littleproud launched a range of reviews into live exports.