Controversial live export boss Graham Daws has quit the board of the live sheep export companies he founded in the wake of the live sheep export row.
His exit is expected to smooth the way for the departure of 60,000 sheep now stranded in Western Australia after Emanuel Exports’ export licence was suspended last month.
Mr Daws stepped down from the board of Emanuel Exports, EMS Rural Exports and International Live Exports at the end of June, as negotiations between Emanuel and Harmony Agriculture and Food for the export of the sheep began to break down, reports Perth Now.
It is believed Mr Daws departure is aimed at improving the chances of Emanuel’s sister company, EMS, to win a one-off export permit to export the sheep to the Middle East within weeks.
The sole remaining director of EMS is Mr Daws son, Nick, following the departure in May of business partner Mike Stanton as a company director.
EMS is believed to have applied to the Federal Department of Agriculture for an export permit, intending to use the ship booked by Emanuel for the sheep, the Al Shuwaikh.
The vessel, which had been sitting off Kwinana since shortly after the live export crisis began, moved into Fremantle harbour overnight, indicating a permit is likely to be issued within days.
It is unclear whether the license will be granted.
The suspension of Emanuel’s export license, pending three separate investigations into the company, has effectively shut down the WA live sheep export industry.
Emanuel was the company linked with mass deaths at sea last year, when thousands of sheep died amid scorching heat in the Middle Eastern summer.
Both the State and Federal Government have been urging WA’s live sheep exporters to shut down for the northern summer months.
The departure of the Al Shuwaikh, an ageing ship likely to be pulled from the route under planned new rules that will ban double-decker live export vessels, is likely to exacerbate the situation, given it will deliver its cargo into the region at the height of the Middle Eastern summer.
In a recent statement, Animals Australia director Lyn White said EMS should not be granted a license to ship the sheep, which have been sitting in a Baldivis feed lot since Emanuel’s license was suspended.
However, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the final decision on whether a permit would be granted to EMS would be made by the independent regulator.