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Live sheep trade to the Middle East put on three-month ban

Live sheep exports to the Middle East will be suspended over next year’s northern hemisphere summer.

The industry has announced a three-month moratorium on shipments, as part of ongoing reforms to animal welfare standards.

Thousands of sheep died on board voyages to the Middle East last year, due to extreme heat stress.

From June 1 next year, no shipments of Australian sheep will depart any Australian port for the Middle East, in a move expected to cost the industry about $55 million a year.

Ways to detect and avoid temperature extremes, along with on-board dehumidification are among the measures being considered by research and development body Livecorp.

WA Farmers Livestock President David Slade tells Ben Fordham “everybody was horrified… especially the farmers who care about their sheep”.

“We’re not going to ship sheep unless their welfare can be guaranteed.”

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