"Bullshit": despite suspension, Emanuel Exports continues with live export of sheep

"Bullshit": despite suspension, Emanuel Exports continues with live export of sheep

Emanuel Exports has found a loophole to continue exporting live sheep from Australia despite its licence being suspended.

The company behind the Awassi Express shipment that captured the nation's attention and spurred on significant national protest is attempting to use an associated company to send another load of sheep to the Middle East.

The company is called EMS Rural Exports and is a closely associated sister company to Emanuel Exports.

Emanuel Exports' director Graham Daws was a also director of EMS and resigned from both companies just days ago. EMS was established by Emanuel Exports and even shares the same operating premises as Emanuel Exports.

Daws' son, Nick Daws, currently remains a director of both companies.

Despite the national protest and outrage about the horrific practice which causes many sheep to die during the long and hot journeys to the Middle East, the Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says he has "no power to interfere".

READ: There is little to be proud of in the wake of the live export controversy

The lack of action from Littleproud has ignited a powerful reaction in Labor's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, who labelled the situation as "bullshit".

"Emanuel is kicking sand in the minister's face," says Fitzgibbon.

"It's legally sidestepping his suspension of their export licence and he should close that sidestep down."

"If he's prepared to use some muscle, we will stand by him. There are ways to stop this taking place."

WA's acting Agriculture Minister Roger Cook agreed with Fitzgibbon, highlighting the dangers of transporting the live animals during the hot Middle Eastern summer.

"This industry cannot afford another high mortality incident, which is why we have repeatedly called on the federal government to consider a pause of the export trade during the hottest months of the northern summer," says Cook.

"West Australian processors have offered to purchase the sheep and we urge Emanuel Exports to seriously consider that offer."

Director Lyn White from Animals Australia says death from heat stroke is an inevitability if EMS is allowed to export the animals.

"The department has the power to suspend the licences of all related companies," says White.

"There will be public outrage if Emanuel Exports, albeit under a different name, is allowed to proceed with this shipment."

Temperatures in South Perth currently range from 8 to 18 degrees, while live export destinations in the Persian Gulf are among the hottest places on earth, and may be reaching 40-50 degrees when these sheep arrive.

The vessel they would be exported on is the three-decades-old Al Shuwaikh, a double-tier vessel that's due to be phased out by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority by 2020 because of poor ventilation performance.

The department did not immediately sanction the company after it reported a 3.76 per cent mortality rate on the Awassi Express voyage in August, well above the two per cent accepted standard.

But after footage was broadcast in April showing thousands of sheep dead, dying and suffering in their own filth and extreme heat on the vessel, Mr Littleproud said it was "disgusting" and "total bullshit".

He then ordered a review of the regulator's capability, culture and investigative powers with the report due back by August 24.

Emanuel also faces being charged over the Awassi Express shipment under federal and state laws.


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