Bahrain plans to import Uruguay sheep
Manama, February 18, 2013
Uruguay could be the latest supplier of sheep to Bahrain, as a row with Australian authorities over the shipment of livestock rumbles on.
The Bahrain Livestock Company (BLC) said it had planned to turn to Sudan, but there were no vessels available to bring in the quantities of live sheep required, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News reported.
Shipments of live Australian sheep to Bahrain have been halted since the end of August, when a consignment of 21,000 animals was prevented from being unloaded due to health concerns.
Sources previously told the GDN this violated the terms of an animal welfare clause, since the sheep spent longer than expected time at sea before ending up in Pakistan.
"Due to the shipments of Australian livestock being halted and because Bahrain market prefers live sheep, the BLC is trying to find alternatives to fulfil the market demands," the BLC said in a statement.
"The company has received offers from Uruguay for supplying live sheep to the local market, and that is being followed up with the authorities concerned.”
"This type of trade agreement needs to follow certain protocols and a memorandum of understanding needs to be signed by concerned ministries in both countries."
BLC said it had tried to import livestock from Sudan by sea, but no suitable vessels were available. The firm added that it had not given up hope that live Australian sheep could once again disembark in Bahrain.
"The company has made preparations to sign a new deal with Australia, especially since the price of sheep in Australia has dropped," the BLC statement said.
"However, the matter requires authorities in Bahrain to quickly reach an agreement with the Australian government."
It also refuted reports that it has not been supplying adequate livestock or meat to the local market, despite a series of shortages since the end of August.
"The BLC imports (chilled) meat from Australia, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya among others everyday through Bahrain International Airport," it said.
"The amount of live sheep brought in to the country daily ranges from 2,500 to 3,000 heads (of livestock), which is sufficient for consumers in Bahrain. In addition to that, 400 to 500 cows are imported weekly."
It said meat coming into the county was stringently checked on arrival by health inspectors and vets to ensure it was fit for human consumption. – TradeArabia News Service