The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is introducing new requirements for live sheep exports to, or through, the Middle East following the finalisation of the regulation impact statement (RIS) in March.
The changes will see a focus on conditions to manage the risk of heat stress during the Northern Hemisphere summer (May 1 to October 31). This will apply from May 1, 2020 onwards.
Under the changes, Australian live sheep exports will not take place to, or through, the Middle East to any port from June 1 to September 14.
There are additional prohibited periods for Qatar (from May 22 to September 22) and for Oman (from May 8 to September 14).
Additional conditions will also apply to voyages departing between May 1 and October 31 to manage the risk of heat stress in sheep.
All voyages during the Northern Hemisphere summer must now be equipped with automated environmental data loggers, with the temperature and humidity recorded and reported to the department.
Exporters will also be required to ensure sheep depart with the shortest wool length possible – not exceeding 25mm.
Voyages arriving in the Persian Gulf or Red Sea after June 1 or leaving Australia between September 15 and 30 must have no more than two ports of discharge.
These changes have been made by the independent regulator under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997.
“The RIS analysed the impacts and benefits of three policy options with the objective of reducing heat stress in sheep while supporting a sustainable live export trade,” said DAWE in a statement. “This process involved extensive consultation.”
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