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While for many products Australia's isolation has made accessing international markets difficult - However for our rural industry , it has also brought some benefits.

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Background While for many products Australia's isolation has made accessing international markets difficult. However for our rural industry , it has also brought some benefits. The natural barriers of the sea, and the fact that no cloven-footed animals were present prior to European settlement, have kept Australia free from most major livestock diseases. This has allowed Australia to remain free of the major diseases that afflict the livestock of many countries (ie, BSE). This offers enormous benefits to Australia's primary producers, both in terms of reduced production costs and also ability to export. Australia's excellent health status means that compared with most other countries, the export of livestock is relatively straightforward. Australian Sheep Livestock Export Australia is the largest sheep livestock exporting country in the world, exporting annually around 6.1 million sheep. Current value of these exports stands at AUS $414million. The majority of Live Sheep (98%) travel to over 11 Middle East and North African countries. International marketing efforts from the Australian Meat & Livestock industry has resulted in strong growth within these foreign markets, in particular the Middle East. Providing a vital source of meat in accordance with consumer specifications and local conditions. Industry Issues As mentioned above the success of Australia's live sheep export over recent years has been as a result of increasingly focusing on the global market. However with this success, Australia has become more reliant on international trade. ...read more.


MLA has established overseas offices maintaining personnel whose prime role includes; * A acquire an understanding at a local level political, social and cultural conditions. * Understanding industry structure and processes. * Lobby government for policy change in regards to tariffs/quotas. * Eokfjo[ifjo[ijoi[j * 'oidj[oijv[oivh[oihcvio[ * 'oij[oidj[0oijh[oi[oidf[io Office locations are as follows: Region Office Americas Washington Europe Germany Korea Seoul Japan Tokyo Middle East and Africa Bahrain Asia Singapore Malaysia Indonesia Philippines Hong Kong Taiwan Background to the Cormo Express Incident The Cormo Express left Australia on 6 August for Saudi Arabia with a consignment of 57,937 sheep owned by a Saudi Arabian livestock export company, Hmood Alali Alkhalaf Trading Company. When the vessel arrived at Jeddah on 21 August, a Saudi Arabian Ministry of Agriculture veterinarian (was not the normal veterinarian team, confidential source) rejected the shipment asserting that 6 per cent of the sheep had a minor condition called scabby mouth. This was above the 5 per cent acceptance level for scabby mouth in the live sheep trade to Saudi Arabia. However, the sheep had been vaccinated before leaving Australia and the Australian veterinarian on board the vessel estimated the incidence of scabby mouth to be only 0.35 per cent. A subsequent independent veterinary assessment by the Middle East regional representative of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), the world organisation for animal health, also found no evidence that a significant outbreak of scabby mouth had occurred aboard the vessel. ...read more.


On arrival in Eritrea, they were supervised by the Director of Veterinary Services for Eritrea and his staff. The Australian team discussed the needs of the sheep with Eritrean officials. Future of Live Sheep Exports Despite this incident, the trade in livestock exports remains strong. It generates about $1 billion a year in export earnings and directly employs about 9000 people, mostly in regional and rural areas of Australia. As noted above, Australia exports to a number of major Middle Eastern countries. It is still unclear the long term impact over this incident. The export ban to Sudia Arabia remains in place. Government Inquiry Australia's livestock export industry is worth $1 billion a year, such incidents represent a substantial threat to industry trade performance. The Government has commissioned an independent inquiry, to be chaired by Dr John Keniry, into this incident and wider aspects of the livestock export industry. The objective of the inquiry is to review current systems in place to protect the industry and to ensure there is no repetition of events such as the Saudi rejection. It will also consider the types of livestock suitable for export; the supervisory arrangements for voyages (including reporting on the condition of the livestock) and contributing factors to the Cormo Express situation. The inquiry will report by the end of December 2003 and will examine the adequacy of present arrangements, such as welfare model codes of practice and current regulatory arrangements for the live export industry. Note:Dr Keniry is the chairman of Ridley Corporation Ltd and a former head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce. ...read more.

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