Cattle flowing to Egypt again as WA producers rejoice

28 Feb, 2010 01:00 AM
Cattle being loaded on the MV Ocean Shearer at Fremantle, bound for the Port of Ain Sokhna, Egypt.
Cattle being loaded on the MV Ocean Shearer at Fremantle, bound for the Port of Ain Sokhna, Egypt.

CATTLE exports to Egypt have resumed with Wellard Rural Exports sending a consignment of 16,460 cattle aboard the MV Ocean Shearer from Fremantle this week.

It’s good news for the beef industry as Egypt represents a significant market for WA cattle and considering the cattle for the shipment were sourced mainly from the South West, it’s particularly good news for producers of Bos Taurus cattle breeds.

Exports to Egypt were halted in 2006 following an investigation into reports of alleged animal cruelty involving Australian cattle.

The investigation was sparked after a report aired on television which displayed graphic footage of Australian cattle allegedly being subjected to cruelty with cattle being stabbed in the eye and having tendons in their back legs slashed.

According to LiveCorp figures, at the peak Australia exported 240,482 cattle to Egypt in 1999.

In 2008 the Federal Government announced the resumption of the live cattle trade to Egypt, following the development of a new facility at the Egyptian port of Sokhna and the signing of an agreement between the two countries, with strict protocols for the handling and slaughter of Australian livestock.

The Sokhna facility allows the handling of cattle from vessel to feedlot to processing in one spot.

Wellard Rural Exports managing director, Steve Meerwald, said Egypt was another important destination for Australian producers as it provided a market for a different class of cattle to those typically exported to South-East Asia.

“Egypt represents a significant new market for Wellard’s live export business and will be hugely beneficial to WA beef producers, given the impact this shipment has already had in the market place in the South West,” Mr Meerwald said.

“The enhanced animal welfare and meat processing protocols in Egypt, combined with our own commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare for preparation and shipment mean Wellard is ideally suited to commence exports to Egypt.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the State and Federal Departments of Agriculture, Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp have worked extremely hard to establish a system which effectively transfers Australian animal welfare standards to Egypt, and this shipment is a testament to that work.

“Having personally inspected the new facilities at Sokhna, I can confirm they are first class and would rival some of Australia’s best feedlot and processing plants.”

Mr Meerwald said that livestock would be handled and slaughtered in according with international standards for animal welfare.

He said Australian officials and industry representatives have assessed the abattoir and were satisfied that the facilities complied with the World Organisation for Animal Health guidelines.

On arrival at the new facility the cattle will disembark and walk 800 metres to the shaded feedlot. Once ready for processing, the livestock will walk 50 metres from the feedlot to the new modern processing facility. The system will also be fully auditable.

Each animal will have an individual electronic tag device and will be scanned prior to leaving Australia and on arrival at the feedlot in Egypt.

This tag will be collected at the point of processing and verified back to the original animals on the shipment.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


1/03/2010 8:56:56 AM, on Farm Weekly

Resuming this sad, barbaric live export of cattle to Egypt is nothing for Australia to be proud of. Shame on all those who support the cruel live trade of Australia's animals.
Get Real
1/03/2010 9:40:15 AM, on Farm Weekly

no joke
1/03/2010 1:05:45 PM, on Farm Weekly

I have no problem with live export as long as the handling at the other end is as ethical as it is in Australia. If you're a vegie that's fine but don't ram it down my throat. Most live export these days is more comfortable than domestic feedlots. Especially American-style feedots, but you're about to be eating American beef! Go complain about that and do something useful!
1/03/2010 2:04:45 PM, on Farm Weekly

Sending our animals to these barbaric abattoirs (such as Basateen) is nothing to be proud of! Shame on you Australia for being so NAIVE!!!!!! In 2006, Egypt signed an agreement with Australia re welfare of animals but Eqyptians openly admitted they knew they couldn't comply with the obligations - so what has changed?
Get Real
2/03/2010 11:38:26 AM, on Farm Weekly

To no joke, places like Egypt have few or no animal welfare laws or standards; there is nothing ethical about live trade. In fact what they do over there would be illegal here yet some still think it’s alright, now that’s a joke. It’s nothing to do with being veg but objecting to barbaric practices.
2/03/2010 1:31:18 PM, on Farm Weekly

One dead out of a shipment of 16,000 to Indonesia - you people are wasting your time. Our presence has improved animal welfare.
3/03/2010 9:50:41 AM, on Farm Weekly

Farmer - Our presence will never improve animal welfare in some countries. How can you be sure that any of these live exported animals will be treated with care, after they have been off loaded and out of our hands? Live export is a cruel, greedy trade and should be ended.
Get Real
3/03/2010 12:39:06 PM, on Farm Weekly

To the farmer, they were better off dead. It’s not just what happens to the animals on the ships, but what happens when they get off.
4/03/2010 6:42:29 AM, on Farm Weekly

I've been to Borneo and seen Australian cattle being run in oil palm plantations. They fatten up well and remove the need to use chemicals in the plantations - win, win. You greenies got to love that.
Get Real
4/03/2010 11:36:30 AM, on Farm Weekly

To the farmer, palm oil plantations have already destroyed huge amounts of rainforest, and have put animals such as orangutans on the verge of extinction, so why bother about a few chemicals? Though you farmers would know a lot about destroying natural habitat wouldn't you. Don’t give a second thought about what happens to the animals at the end of their lives as long as you get a big fat pay check.
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