October 10, 2003



Reassessment of Australia Live Animal Exports


Australia will review its live animal exports, which is worth about A$1 billion ($689 million) a year. This decision is made after a cargo of 54,000 sheep was stranded in Middle Eastern waters for more than a month, Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said.


John Keniry, former president of Australia's competition regulator, will lead the investigation into the industry and the stranded cargo, Truss said.


"If Australia is to have a viable and sustainable livestock export industry, the industry must be involved, responsible and accountable," Truss said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg.


Australia is world's largest exporter of sheep and cattle. It has been seeking a taker for the stranded sheep after Saudi Arabia rejected the cargo on Aug. 26, saying too many had scabby mouth disease.


The review will report by the end of December, Truss said.