Sheep exports to the Middle East

Requirements for live sheep exports to, or through, the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer have changed.

The new requirements reduce the risk of heat stress in sheep to a very low level, while supporting a sustainable live sheep export trade.

These requirements are in addition to those set out in the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) (version 2.3).

Sheep exports prohibited from 1 June to 14 September

Live sheep exports to, or through, the Middle East are prohibited from leaving Australia from 1 June to 14 September.

The new requirement is confirmed under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Prohibition of Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East—Northern Summer) Order 2020.

The order comes into force on 1 May 2020 and will remain in place until it is no longer required.

Additional prohibition for Qatar and Oman

There is an increased risk of heat stress outside the general 3.5 month prohibition for Qatar and Oman.

Additional prohibition periods apply. Departures from Australia are prohibited:

  • to Qatar from 22 May to 22 September
  • to Oman from 8 May to 14 September.

These requirements are based on an analysis of climate data from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Qatar and Oman reach higher Wet Bulb Temperatures (WBTs) earlier and WBTs in Qatar fall later than for other destinations.

Requirements for all voyages from 1 May to 31 October

To manage the risk of heat stress in sheep outside the prohibition period, in addition:

  • there will be no more than 2 ports of discharge for voyages traveling through the Arabian Sea, or the Red Sea, north of latitude 11°N during June or departing Australia between 15 and 30 September.
  • sheep should be exported with the shortest wool length possible and this must be not greater than 25mm for each animal
  • exported sheep must have a body condition score of 2 or more and less than 4, on a scale of 1 to 5. Details of this scoring system can be found in ASEL (version 2.3).
  • all voyages must be monitored with automated environmental measurement devices and this monitoring reported to the department.

The review process

We conducted a comprehensive review of the live sheep export trade.

We considered information and feedback from:

Read about the review process and submissions to previous consultations.

Future reviews

We will continue to review these requirements.

We will undertake:

  • an informal review after the 2020 Northern Hemisphere summer
  • a formal review after the 2021 Northern Hemisphere summer.

These reviews will:

  • consider voyage outcomes and the appropriateness of regulatory conditions
  • give us the opportunity to review new science and research.

Frequently asked questions

  • Read answers to some frequently asked questions.
Document Pages File size
Frequently asked questions on changes to the regulation of live sheep exports to, or through, the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer PDF 5 237 KB
Frequently asked questions on changes to the regulation of live sheep exports to, or through, the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer DOCX 5 128 KB
Last reviewed: 22 April 2020
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.

Skip