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Australian Livestock Exporters' Councils response to the exemption outcome

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) is disappointed by the announcement from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), rejecting an application for the export of 56,000 sheep to the Middle East.

Crew members on board the Al Kuwait reported minor flu-like symptoms on their recent journey from Qatar to Fremantle, where they arrived on 22 May, and 21 have since tested positive to COVID-19. The majority of the crew has been isolated in a Perth hotel under the direction and supervision of WA health authorities.

The exporter, Rural Export and Trading (WA) Pty Ltd (RETWA) had applied for an exemption to the order prohibiting sheep shipments to the Middle East from 1 June, involving the use of an alternative vessel.

There were appropriate risk management practices and animal welfare plans in place as part of the exemption application to ensure the health of the sheep during the voyage, as well as reduced stocking density. The shipment would have provided the Middle East with much needed food security at a time when a reduction in air travel is limiting access to chilled and frozen meat.

Whilst the decision is disappointing the live export trade will continue to operate and provide protein and much needed food security in these unprecedented times. We remain committed to providing our global partners with high quality Australian red meat.


Annie Frisch 

Communications and Media Director

M 0476 844 886