Following the events involving the MV Al Kuwait docking at the Port of Fremantle, with six crew members confirmed positive for COVID19, WAFarmers continues to monitor the situation closely.
WAFarmers Livestock President David Slade said that the live export industry was working tirelessly to resolve the issue, with RETWA and ALEC continuing to work closely with WA health authorities, and the State and Federal Departments.
“We understand that the affected crew are receiving the highest level of medical attention, are safe and being well cared for,” he said.
“This is a very unfortunate situation, that could have happened to any vessel entering WA.
“What is important is that industry, along with the State and Federal Departments, resolve this issue as quickly as possible for the benefit of the trade, and all personnel involved.
Regarding the livestock due to load the vessel, Mr Slade said, that there was no cause for animal welfare concerns.
“The stock due for departure are being well cared for. They have access to ample feed and water with the livestock being held in the usual feedlot facilities.
“They are regularly monitored by livestock personnel including vets and stock handlers – this is normal practice.
Mr Slade commended Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his interjection and attempt to cut through the calls to shut down the live export industry following the announcement of situation.
“The Prime Minister, is exactly right, people must not get too far ahead of themselves on this, the live export industry will be fundamental to WA’s economy following the aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic.
“We must not forget that our trading partners rely on our live export industry for food security, it’s paramount our long-term markets have consistent and steady supply, especially during the global Covid19 pandemic.
“It’s our trading partners food security, which is critical at this point in time, the state and federal governments need to ensure they do everything they can to see this live export consignment through,” Mr Slade said.
WAFarmers continues to support Western Australia’s live export trade.