Australia is set to commence exporting livestock to Libya for the first time in almost a decade.
A corresponding memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering all procedures involved in the export has been signed by representatives from the two countries this week.
The MoU was signed in Canberra by Australian Agriculture Minister, Peter McGauran, and Libyan Secretary for Agriculture, Animals and Marine Wealth, Dr Abu Baker Al-Mabrook Al-Mansouri.
Mr McGauran said the MoU detailed the requirements necessary for the livestock trade to start up, including that a comprehensive inspection regime be in place as well as a secure quarantine holding facility in Libya. Australia has not exported livestock to Libya since 1999 when the trade ended due to commercial reasons.
The protocols contained within the MoU – which covers cattle, sheep and goats for slaughter and breeding, as well as horses and camels – will make sure the health and welfare of the exported animals remain at internationally acceptable levels.
Mr McGauran said today's agreement was Australia's eighth bilateral MoU on live animal trade to the Middle East and followed similar arrangements with the United Arab Emirates (December 2004), Kuwait (March 2005), Eritrea (April 2005), Saudi Arabia and Jordan (May 2005).