Australian exporters agree to lift livestock export suspension on Egypt
Council (ALEC) has agreed to lift the industry suspension on livestock exports to Egypt following agreement by the Australian and Egyptian Governments to move the market into the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), the CEO of ALEC, Alison Penfold said today.
“Back in May 2013 when the industry placed the export suspension on the market following to incidents of poor handling and cruelty, we made it clear to the Government and the public that reopening of the market would be dependent on a move to ESCAS and agreement around HGPs.
‘While it is disappointing it has taken almost a year to gain agreement to do so, today’s announcement now provides clarity around market access and allows exporters to establish supply chains under ESCAS, the world’s only export supply chain assurance system.
“This change to ESCAS places responsibility for welfare in the hands of exporters rather than that responsibility being held by the Australian and Egyptian Governments as under the previous MOU”.
“This gives exporters far more capacity to manage supply chain issues in a timely and effective manner.”
Ms Penfold said that exporters are considering their commercial options in the market including whether to recommence sheep exports.
“In the short term, exporters will look to have the existing closed loop facilities approved under ESCAS particularly as there is interest in supplying cattle to the market for Ramadan.
“But with Australia out of the market for the past two years, Brazil has moved in to at least one supply chain and with that comes little to no welfare standards or oversight underpinning their export operations and does little to improve welfare standards globally.
“Because of our regard for welfare, this puts Australian exporters at a competitive disadvantage.
“In relation to the possibility of sheep exports to the market, there will need to be infrastructure changes in existing facilities in order to handle large volumes of sheep. This means that the sheep trade is likely a medium to longer term proposition for exporters.
“Ultimately today’s decision provides yet another market opportunity for producers and exporters which is an important driver for increasing returns to all involved in the trade.”
Contact: Alison Penfold – 0408 633 026
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