Rather than violate the terms of memoranda of understanding in knocking the shipment back, Western Australian Farmers Federation President Dale Park advised Australian live sheep exporters on Tuesday to instead focus on four Middle Eastern markets which have been long-standing customers.
Sheep shearers insist they could be Olympians. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis
Mr Park identified the four markets as Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan.
"We can't afford another fiasco like we've got going on in Pakistan, so the best way to avoid that is don't go back to the place that cause you trouble," AAP quoted Mr Park.
He pointed out that Australian exports have a lot of markets that want their sheep. Mr Park blamed the situation in Pakistan to "intertwining political and financial" issues and not the health of the 21,000 sheep.
Mr Park said it is not worth the time of exporters to ship more animals to Bahrain or Pakistan because of the higher chance of another rejection which would weaken further the live sheep trade now teetering on a knife edge.
Mr Park's advice is timely since the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry just approved again permits for the export of live sheep to the Middle East after it halted processing of the permits at the height of the Pakistan problem.
The problem is still hanging since a high court extended the ban on culling the sheep while reports said Karachi authorities had actually killed between 700 and 7,000 animals despite conflicting laboratory reports on the state of the sheep's real health.
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