The exporter said it was now upholding welfare standards and would further mitigate the risks of exporting sheep to the Arabian Gulf during the Northern Hemisphere summer.
Animal rights group Animals Australia leaked footage to the Australian press showing sheep in a carrier being transported in poor conditions to the Arabian Gulf, sparking an investigation by the Australian Government.
“This tragedy has been heartbreaking for our company and we apologise to producers and the broader community for the outcome in Qatar in August last year,” said Emanuel Exports director Nick Daws.
Emanuel’s forthcoming shipments will designate Kuwait as the first discharge port, which it said would provide a “significant welfare safeguard”.
“The dry climate of Kuwait, where up to half of the sheep in Gulf shipments are delivered, means we will discharge a large number of animals in conditions where moisture build-up is negligible,” Daws added.
Meanwhile, Emanuel Exports has also taken action to respond to Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) breaches made last week against two facility employees mistreating sheep at a Qatar-based abattoir and the alleged on-selling of sheep to private buyers from Oman.
“Emanuel will cease supply to Oman and will not resume supply until we, as the exporter, are confident that improved market systems are in place to uphold ESCAS requirements,” Daws said.
The information about the Qatar abattoir was provided to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources by Animals Australia.
The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said this was the first complaint the department had received about sheep exports to Qatar since the launch of ESCAS in 2011.
According to the Australian Government, Animals Australia has provided reports since 1 March 2018 about non-compliant handling of animals in three markets and allegations of sheep outside their approved supply chains in five markets in the Middle East.
The Australian Department said it would continue to investigate these reports.