A ten-year hiatus on livestock trade between Australia and Saudi Arabia has been broken with the Middle East kingdom now welcoming Australian exports again.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said on April 7 that Australia has been working with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on the arrangements.
“My department has been working closely with their counterparts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure that these new arrangements meet Saudi Arabia’s requirements and ensure the health and welfare of the exported animals,” Littleproud said.
The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) thanked Littleproud for securing the opportunity for the country’s livestock producers.
“Securing access to Saudi Arabia has been an enormous task for industry,” ALEC CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton said.
“This will not only enable exporters to provide food security to the Saudi people but will assist sheep and goat producers in having greater global market opportunities to a market we once had a significant share in.
Harvey-Sutton said KSA is the region’s major livestock market, importing almost 8 million sheep, goat, cattle, and camels each year.
Two factors have been critical to reopening the market: the agriculture department’s consultations with the industry to immunise livestock for scabby mouth and clostridial diseases, and developing the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) which provides mechanisms for animal traceback.
“The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and producers’ compliance under Livestock Producer Assurance (LPA) will be critical for this market and provides the mechanisms for animal traceback and verification of requirements by Saudi Arabia,” Harvey-Sutton said.
“Exporters and producers welcome the opportunity to provide Australian livestock to Saudi Arabia and to further developing a mutually beneficial partnership,” he said.
Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) also welcomed the news, saying market access to KSA will offer additional food security to Saudis, while helping to create a sustainable live sheep export trade for Australians.
“The impact on producers from this moratorium should not be under-estimated and it is important for both the sustainability of the live sheep export industry as well as producers, particularly in Western Australia, that opportunities for new live sheep markets are pursued as a priority,” SPA CEO Stephen Crisp said.
Reopening the livestock export market with KSA comes after a difficult year for the Australian meat industry following the Chinese regime’s decision to ban imports of Australian beef, lamb and shellfish in retaliation for Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s call for an inquiry into the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.