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Notice given 15 September 2003

596  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett): To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Cormo Express shipment of 57 000 sheep rejected by Saudi Arabia 3 weeks ago, because of suspected scabby mouth, and subsequently rejected by a second unnamed country is now to be offered free to a third unnamed country in the region,

(ii) the Cormo Express sailed with a shipment of 57 000 sheep in mid-August 2003 but, by 12 September 2003, after around 5 weeks at sea, the number had been reduced by at least 6 per cent,

(iii) Saudi Arabia’s rejection of Australian shipments because of disease concerns resulted in the cessation of the live sheep trade for a decade from 1991, and trade only resumed in 2000 after Australian exporters agreed to vaccinate all sheep against scabby mouth before shipment,

(iv) throughout the period the Cormo Express has been at sea, Livecorp spokespeople have continually assured the Australian Government, media and community that the Cormo Express’ shipment of live sheep would soon find an alternative port,

(v) on Wednesday, 10 September 2003, it was reported in the Australian media that Cormo Express ’ shipment of 57 000 were still stranded; a day later Meat and Livestock Australia announced that Australia’s live sheep exports were soaring, with reference made to exports to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan all being on the increase,

(vi) Tuesday, 9 September 2003, saw the National Livestock Service announcing that the number of sheep slaughtered in Australia’s eastern states was in decline due to the huge numbers of sheep euthanased and dead because of the drought,

(vii) the Australian Bureau of Statistics export data for the 2002-03 financial year and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics estimates that the beef, veal, mutton and lamb carcass trade was worth $4 964 million while the live cattle and sheep trade was worth in the vicinity of $976 million; and

(b) demands that the Government:

(i) provide full details to the Senate by 3 pm on Thursday, 18 September 2003 of the number of mortalities aboard the Cormo Express , and identifies the second and any subsequent ports approached after the Saudi Arabian rejection of the shipment, and identify the port, if any, prepared to accept the sheep and at what cost, and

(ii) enforce minimum welfare standards in the live export trade and increases support for the chilled and frozen meat export trade.

Notice of motion altered on 16 September 2003 pursuant to standing order 77.