A second live export company, closely affiliated with the company behind the tragic Awassi Express voyage, has had its export licence suspended.
EMS Rural Exports has been denied a permit to ship the sheep to the Middle East, following considerable outrage from the public, press, and interested animal rights organisations.
The suspension follows the federal Agriculture Department suspending Emanuel Exports' licence last month after investigations uncovered how thousands of animals died en route to the Middle East.
EMS was set to take about 45,000 sheep from Fremantle to Kuwait on the Al Shuwaikh, but will now face a full review following the suspension.
The department says EMS remains responsible for the welfare of the sheep, currently in limbo in a feedlot.
"Sheep that had been due for export remain in a registered feedlot. The sheep have been inspected by the department's veterinarians; they are in good health and well-cared for," says the department.
"Arrangements for these animals remain the responsibility of the exporter."
Emanuel Exports' director Graham Daws was a also director of EMS and resigned from both companies just days ago. EMS was established by Emanuel Exports and even shares the same operating premises as Emanuel Exports.
Daws' son, Nick Daws, currently remains a director of both companies.
Animals Australia director Lyn White says she is relieved that the department took swift action. The animal rights organisation last night threatened to lodge an injunction to stop the shipment in the Federal Court.
"The possibility of these sheep being exported by an affiliate of suspended exporter Emanuel Exports has had both the public and politicians shaking their heads in dismay and disbelief," says White.
On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud circulated a letter citing legal advice showing he had no power to interfere in regulatory decisions other than shutting down the entire live export industry.
"Last time this happened was 2011, when Labor did so," says Littleproud.
"The resulting lawsuit continues to this day and many farming families still struggle with the person and mental cost of that decision."
"I will not make Labor's mistake again."
Business News Australia