Middle East livestock ships targeted by Australian officials
Australia’s Federal Agriculture Ministry is moving to tighten regulations regarding the export of livestock from the country to the rest of the world, particularly the Middle East.
The move comes after an April incident in which 2,400 sheep died in extreme heat on a voyage to the Middle East.
Video footage of dead sheep littered across crowded pens, with other sheep collapsing and suffocating in their own waste, shocked the Australian public and led to demands from farmers for a change in regulations.
As a result, Australia has ruled that older livestock vessels using a two-tier system for carrying livestock will be barred from operating from Australia from January 2020.
Ships built or converted before 2004 that could not meet minimum air speeds across livestock pens, carried livestock in two tiers, or failed to meet ventilation requirements on open decks were previously able to continue operating until 2023 under grandfathering provisions.
But that was moved forward this week due to pressure from Australian farmers.
Three ships operating between Australia and the Middle East are classed as two tier — Al Shuwaikh, operated by Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading, and the Bader III and Maysora, operated by Livestock Shipping Services.