Sheep exports may start again soon
West Australian Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan is aiming to relaunch the live sheep export industry next month with reputable producers and reduced stocking densities.
About 60,000 sheep remain in a Perth feedlot after the Department of Agriculture suspended the export licences of Emanuel Exports and associated entity EMS Rural Exports.
"We hope in a month's time to restart this industry with reputable producers, reasonable stocking densities and on modern ships," Ms MacTiernan told reporters on Monday.
Emanuel, which was behind the Awassi Express shipment where thousands of sheep died, could not agree on terms with exporters Wellard and Harmony Agriculture, while Livestock Shipping Services also voluntarily withdrew from the northern summer trade.
Sources have told AAP a livestock exporter booked a vessel for September but then cancelled amid concerns about a potential court injunction against the government by Animals Australia.
The group has already threatened to seek an injunction if EMS Rural Exports is allowed to export.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack insists live exports have a future but hit out at city people who "probably sit in their soy latte cafes" and "keyboard warriors" for commenting on agricultural issues.
He said animal welfare minded farmers should not "take the fall" for exporters who did the wrong thing.
The federal Nationals leader also claimed there was a large disconnect between city and regional Australia.
"I think a lot of city kids probably think their meats, fruit, vegetables and milk all just come from a refrigerator from a supermarket," he told 6PR radio.
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