Within weeks of Perth-based livestock shipper Emanuel Exports losing its licence following outrage over animal cruelty on the Awassi Express voyage, its subsidiary EMS Rural Exports has now been dealt a similar blow.
In a release published yesterday, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) described EMS' cancellation as a "serious step that is only taken in the best interests of the industry and for the protection of Australia's high standards on animal welfare".
More than 2,000 sheep died in cramped, hot and dirty conditions on the ship, and footage released by 60 Minutes led to a public outcry over live export practices.
Emanuel's licence was revoked on 21 August.
"As the department noted when the Emanuel licence was cancelled, it is the responsibility of each exporter to ensure it meets the clear requirements under the legislation that governs the export of livestock," DAWR said yesterday.
"The department is now actively considering applications from other potential exporters to the Middle East against the strict requirements of the legislation.
"In addition, the department is considering some further changes to conditions that will apply to the export of sheep to the Middle East once the northern hemisphere summer has ended."
The proposed changes will carefully consider recommendations made by Dr Michael McCarthy in his review of the conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East.
The initial cancellation of Emanuel's licence was described as a "day of reckoning" by an Animals Australia spokesperson, following a "David and Goliath" battle that had been waged for 15 years.
"The directors of Emanuel Exports have been responsible for some of the worst mass death events in the trade and the associated suffering that we now understand so fully," said Animals Australia director of strategy Lyn White, alleging 1.5 million defenceless animals had died on their vessels.
"It is Emanuel Exports that was responsible for the Cormo Express disaster where over 5,000 sheep perished, and it was their shipment that I met in Kuwait City in November that year, on which over 1,000 sheep had died.
"While in Kuwait, I witnessed firsthand the brutal treatment that this company was prepared to expose millions of sheep to, for decades."Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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