MLA hails Bahrain’s decision to open livestock imports
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) - responsible for marketing and managing Australian meat and livestock throughout the world - welcomes Bahrain’s recent announcement of opening its livestock import market; a move set to bolster benefits and product diversity and quality for consumers in the country.
Dr Nigel Brown, MLA’s Manager of Livestock Services, Middle East & Africa Region, is in agreement with Bahrain Livestock Company chairman’s encouragement of increased competition in the Bahrain market adding that this healthy business decision is complemented by Australia’s continued enhancement of animal welfare standards on their voyage to Bahrain that are “and always will be, our top priority in Australia and overseas. That is why we are continuing our technical support to countries receiving our animals. Brown added “The Australian authorities, along with all state and territory governments, developed stringent livestock export standards, the initial draft for which has been developed by expert working groups including livestock producers, stock agents, livestock transporters, exporters, ship owners, maritime safety experts and government regulators.” Moreover, MLA commissions extensive research to identify and provide solutions for some of the physiological problems involved when sheep and cattle are placed under long-haul transportation, such as in their journey from Australia to The Middle East. Livestock exporters in Australia also apply methods such as wetting cattle to minimize the detrimental effects of hyperthermia (heat stress).
Additionally, MLA issues and distributes reports on preparing sheep for live export, which covers topics such as vaccination against scabby mouth, transport issues and selection of sheep. MLA has also recently released its “Is It Fit to Load?” manual, which is an easy-to-use guide for both producers and transporters to assess whether an animal was in a fit state to travel. A recent report by Alliance Resource Economics, commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) found that Australia has “world-best livestock export standards” when compared with the main exporting countries including Mexico, the United States, China and South American or African countries. An Australian journalist, Cameron Morse, editor of Western Australia’s The Countryman newspaper, recently accompanied Australian livestock on a three-week journey from Australia to the Middle East aboard the livestock ship MV Becrux, which safely unloaded nearly 58,000 sheep. Mr. Morse found that claims about poor conditions on board were “simply not accurate”, and further reported, “according to my on-board observation, there are a number of false claims made by animal activists about live exports. Each sheep has access to as much food as it wants... [I have] yet to see an empty feed bin or water trough.