Although the government would not disclose the name of the company, the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) confirmed to GlobalMeatNews that EMS Rural Exports was the company involved.
EMS Rural Exports are described by ALEC as a “related entity” to Emanuel Exports, the first firm that was suspended for its handling of sheep during a transit.
ALEC commented that while the regulator [Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources] completed its review, it was unable to provide any commentary on the suspension nor the review.
“ALEC supports the Federal Government’s commitment to producers and our importer customers to continue Australia’s sheep export trade while new shipping standards are applied, as per the recommendations of the McCarthy Review,” ALEC said in a statement.
The move follows an ongoing dispute into Australian live sheep trade after footage became viral of sheep being exported to the Middle East in distressing conditions, which resulted in 2,400 of them dying from heat stress.
Emanuel Exports later apologised to producers and the community, as well as pledging to uphold welfare standards and mitigate future risks.
The McCarthy Review is a list of 23 recommendations for traders, written by livestock veterinarian Michael McCarthy in collaboration with Australia’s Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud, to improve conditions for sheep exported to the Middle East during the summer months.
The government said sheep had been due for export by the “company” [EMS Rural Exports], but when inspected, were all in good health and well-cared for.
“Arrangements for these animals remain the responsibility of the exporter,” said the Australian government in a statement. “The suspension will remain in place pending a full review. It is not appropriate for the department to provide more information while the investigation is ongoing.”
Emanuel Exports director Nicolas Daws revealed the business would fully cooperate with the Department in its review.