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MEDIA RELEASE

Wellard receives export approval for sheep shipment Australian sheep in Pakistan cleared of health concerns

September 24, 2012

Wellard confirms that it has received a permit from the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to export 65,000 sheep to Qatar.

In addition to the normal export protocols, DAFF applied a number of extra conditions which Wellard has and will comply with.

“We are disappointed with the delay in issuing the export permit and the view that everything that relates to sheep export is perceived as ‘risky’,” said Wellard Managing Director Mauro Balzarini.

“These sheep are bound for Qatar, a market which we have been supplying for almost 25 years without incident. Qatar, readily embraced the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) and has adhered to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) when tested successfully in the past.

“Nevertheless, Wellard has worked with the Federal Department of Agriculture to achieve a solution to this impasse and to allow live export to continue to provide an important marketing option for Australian farmers and to provide consumers in the Middle East with a safe, healthy, sustainable supply of fresh meat.”

The sheep will travel on a purpose built livestock vessel in accordance with Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) – which are the most rigorous standards in the world.

In Pakistan, PK Livestock, assisted by Wellard, has been successful in seeking an injunction in the Sindh High Court against the culling of Australian sheep by the Sindh Livestock Department until the court case resumes again on Monday (local time).

Testing of the sheep over the weekend has confirmed PK Livestock’s, Wellard’s and the Australian Government’s continued insistence that the sheep are healthy and free of disease. Clinical inspection for anthrax by Dow University and  a High Court appointed veterinary committee found no evidence of the disease whatsoever and test results for a number of other exotic diseases by the National Veterinary Laboratories in Islamabad all returned negative results.

“We have always insisted the sheep are healthy, disease free and would pass any proper testing program,” said Wellard Executive Director Steve Meerwald from Karachi. “These tests vindicate that stance and the round the clock efforts  PK Livestock, Wellard and the Australian Government have gone to to  prevent the cull of sheep that are healthy and are safe for human consumption.”

“We will continue to seek to overturn the cull order permanently and to resume normal processing in PK Livestock’s modern, ISO accredited and World Animal Health Organization compliant abattoir

For further information please contact:

Cameron Morse
Phone: + 61 8 9485 8888
Mobile: +61 (0) 433 886 871
Website: www.wellard.com.au

Background – Wellard Rural and Trading

Wellard is a world leader in the production and distribution of livestock and grain.

Its two largest subsidiaries are Wellard Rural Exports, Australia’s largest livestock exporter and ship owner, and Wellard Agri, a large mixed farming land owner and operator specialising in the production of grains, legumes and livestock.

Wellard Rural Exports has supplied quality dairy and beef cattle and sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years, and its investment in the live export industry is without peer.  Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, the company’s operations cover every aspect of the export chain, including feed milling, livestock aggregation, road transport, feedlot facilities throughout Australia and modern shipping.

The company’s flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux), is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe.  She was commissioned in 2002.

Two new, technologically advanced, purpose-built vessels, the MV Ocean Swagman and the MV Ocean Outback, were launched in 2010. They offer unparalleled levels of safety for the livestock, crew and vessel, and can transport 7000 cattle, 25,000 sheep, or a combination of both.

Wellard Agri owns and operates eight farms covering 33,000 hectares across three agri-hubs. The two northern hubs are located at Dongara and Watheroo in Western Australia’s central midlands and one is located at Kojonup in the Great Southern region of WA.

The Dongara hub is home to The Grange, a 14,500 hectare property which is considered one of Western Australia’s blue chip farming properties.

The remaining landholding totals more than 18,000 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares is cropped to a variety of grains and legumes. The other 4000ha is devoted to sheep production, including the famous Hyfield Poll Merino stud at Kojonup. In addition, Wellard leases an additional 14,500ha for livestock and grain production.

Wellard Agri also has operations in the farm machinery sector, through management of the CLAAS Harvest Centres at Katanning, Wongan Hills and Esperance for the Landpower range of farm machinery.

Visit www.wellard.com.au