The RSPCA has expressed its shock and disbelief that another company closely affiliated with disgraced live exporters Emanuel Exports and EMS Rural Exports has had an export licence approved.
RSPCA Australia Senior Policy Officer Dr Jed Goodfellow condemned the Department of Agriculture‚Äôs decision to grant an export licence to the Kuwait Livestock and Trading (KLTT) company‚Äôs Australia subsidiary, Rural Export Trading WA (RETWA).
‚ÄúIt absolutely beggars belief, how the Department could think it could possibly meet its regulatory obligations in granting this licence,‚Äù said Dr Goodfellow.
‚ÄúKLTT has a horrific track record of animal cruelty and disaster in live exports, and has been implicated in multiple ESCAS breaches and animal cruelty investigations in Kuwait in recent years,
‚ÄúWhat the public needs to know, is that RETWA had its export licence cancelled in 2004 by then Nationals Agriculture Minister Warren Truss following 25 high mortality voyages within a two-year period between 2000-2002,
‚ÄúAnd when this happened, Emanuel Exports filled the gap providing export services for KLTT,
‚ÄúNow that Emanuel Exports has had its licence cancelled, RETWA is stepping back in,
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs another example of the live export shell game, and KLTT is playing the Department of Agriculture for fools,
‚ÄúRETWA and disgraced Emanuel Exports are closely affiliated trading partners - they‚Äôve shared the same Directors and the same live export ships,
‚ÄúGraham Daws founded RETWA in 1973, the same year he became director of Emanuel Exports before stepping down earlier this year following the Awassi Express scandal.
‚ÄúKLTT leased the Awassi Express, and was the consignee/importer for all five horrific voyages exposed on 60 Minutes this year,
‚ÄúThis decision makes an absolute mockery of our already-troubled live export regulation,
This is another dark day in Australia‚Äôs terrible history of volatile live sheep exports and serves as further proof of the incompetence of the live export regulator, ,‚Äù said Dr Goodfellow.
The decision comes as the community awaits the long-overdue findings of the Moss review into the Department‚Äôs capabilities, investigative capacity and culture as live export regulator, and which were due to be handed down in August.
‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs clearer than ever before now, is that the live sheep export industry has no capacity or willingness to change,‚Äù said Dr Goodfellow.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs business as usual for live exporters and their supporters, protecting their mates and doing their best to get around government regulations,‚Äù said Dr Goodfellow.
‚ÄúBut I think we may look back on this shameful day as the final nail in the coffin for live sheep exports,
‚ÄúAn industry that has such reckless disregard for community expectations and Australian regulations has no chance of long-term survival,
‚ÄúThe Australian community are sick to death of this trade and it is only a matter of time before it will be brought to an end,‚Äù said Dr Goodfellow.