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Cattle trade resumes to Egypt.



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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Cattle trade resumes to Egypt

09 May 2008 DAFF08/053B

The Australian Government will resume trade in live cattle to Egypt, subject to strict conditions including the use of a new purpose-built feedlot and abattoir facility inspected by Australian authorities.

The move comes ahead of a $7.6 million extension to the Live Animal Trade Program, to be announced in the 2008-09 Federal Budget, to further improve animal welfare outcomes in countries importing Australian livestock and enhance Australian exports to the Middle East region.

This will include funding upgrades of livestock facilities to meet international welfare guidelines and education and training in areas such as feedlot management and nutrition.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the Australian and Egyptian governments had signed two Memoranda of Understanding on the handling and slaughter of Australian live animals.

The agreement requires the monitoring and recording of movements of Australian cattle through a ‘closed system’ which only permits the use of the new abattoir at the port of Ain Sokhna.

Australian officials and industry assessed the facility and were satisfied it was consistent with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines for animal welfare.

Cattle will not be permitted to be moved to other Egyptian abattoirs or feedlots.

Mr Burke said livestock exports were an important part of a vibrant livestock sector in Australia, generating $730 million in export earnings annually and supporting more than 10,000 rural and regional jobs.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and is subject to strict conditions,” Mr Burke said.

“The Government is committed to world’s best practice and addressing genuine community and international concerns about animal welfare in the live export trade.

“Australian cattle will only be imported to Egypt into the new, state-of-the-art feedlot and processing facility in Ain Sokhna.

“They will be handled and slaughtered in accordance with international standards for animal welfare.”