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House divided on live animal export
KUWAIT CITY, March 5: During a heated parliamentary session in which Kuwait was categorically referred to as one of the largest importing markets for Australian sheep, Australian Agriculture Minister Murray Watt reaffirmed his country’s intention to uphold its commitment to gradually end the export of live sheep, reports Al-Rai daily. This assertion on the part of the minister was met with objection by the MPs of the state of Western Australia, who accused him of ignoring the improvements that were made in the procedures for exporting live sheep to ensure their safety during the sea freight voyage.
Among the objectors was Senator Slade Brockman, who accused the minister of making decisions that were not based on science and underestimating the significant improvements introduced by exporters. He said, “If we look at the mortality rates among sheep during the freight trip, we will notice tangible improvements in this regard.”
However, the minister reaffirmed that the Australian government is determined to move forward with its pledge to phase out live sheep exports. Meanwhile, Head of the Agriculture Department Andrew Metcalf revealed that he had traveled to the Middle East to ensure that the Kuwaiti government is aware of its Australian counterpart’s intention to end the export of live sheep, given that Kuwait is among the largest importing markets for these sheep. He warned of the existence of alternatives that include Romania and the African countries. It is worth highlighting that the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had earlier announced that the phase-out process is expected to continue until 2025.