Australian live sheep and cattle exporters have been given the go-ahead to establish supply chains in Lebanon after agreement on animal health protocols.
Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce said Lebanese and Australian veterinary authorities have now reached agreement on animal health certification requirements for live feeder and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats which opens the door for the start of trade.
The certification agreement has, for the first time in a decade, given Australian livestock producers the opportunity to trade directly with Lebanon for Australian feeder and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats.
“The next step is for exporters to establish Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) arrangements to support appropriate animal welfare outcomes in this new market,” he said.
“Initially, industry is forecasting we will see 10,000 head of cattle and 100,000 head of sheep make their way to Lebanon—and that’s just the beginning of trade with good prospects for growth.
“This is another strong opportunity for our livestock producers,” Mr Joyce said.
“We should be proud of Australia’s reputation for reliability, supplying tens of millions of people all over the world with some of the highest quality, cleanest and sustainably produced livestock available.
“This is something we do well and it’s great to see more opportunities for this industry to continue to grow.”
Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chief executive officer Alison Penfold said the industry welcomed another market opportunity.
“It was now a matter for any interested exporters to make appropriate commercial arrangements, including establishing ESCAS supply chains.
“This is another example of the strong level of co-operation between industry and the government, through the Department of Agriculture,” she said.
“There is a very strong working relationship around industry supporting the efforts of the animal biosecurity team in the department with their negotiations.
“We are not afraid to pioneer market access in markets around the world, knowing that in doing so we’ve got to meet our animal welfare obligations.”
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce said with the Lebanese market open, the government had now delivered on six market opportunities for livestock exports in the past year—Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Cambodia, and most recently Thailand.
“We said we would reinvigorate trade and expand market access. Lebanon is the next opportunity available for livestock producers.”
Source: Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and ALEC
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