Egypt not officially notified of Australian livestock export halt

Ahram Online, Sunday 5 May 2013

Egypt's agriculture minister insists that no formal notification has been received on an Australian livestock export ban to Egypt following disturbing abattoir footage

(Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian government has not received any official notification saying that Australia has suspended livestock exports to Egypt after a graphic video circulated purportedly showing animal cruelty in Egyptian abattoirs, prompting Canberra to launch an investigation, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture reported Saturday.

Salah Abdel Moemen, Egyptian minister of agriculture, stated that Egypt is compliant with domestic and international standards in animal treatment, pointing out that Islamic Sharia emphasises animal welfare.

Moemen added that if live cattle exports are suspended, Egypt should discuss the matter with the Australian government find resolution.

Animals rights group Animals Australia, which is campaigning for an end to the live export trade, said the footage was shot over recent months at two abattoirs approved under a joint agreement that allowed the resumption of live animal exports to Egypt in 2010.

Alison Penfold, CEO of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, said she was appalled by the footage but said she had visited the Egyptian facilities last year and found procedures then complied with Australian requirements.

According to Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, live animal exports made up 4.5 percent of total trade between Egypt and Australia, which reached $593 million in 2011/12.

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