Australia and Egypt have signed agreements on animal welfare to pave the way for resumption of Australian livestock exports to Egypt.
Peter McGauran, Australia's agriculture minister, suspended trade with Egypt in February following allegations of animal maltreatment at a slaughterhouse in Cairo.
The new memorandums of understanding are on the Handling and Slaughter of Australian Live Animals and on Trade in Live Animals.
McGauran said Egypt will also make sure workers unload animals on arrival and provide food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. These undertakings are consistent with Australia's agreements with a number of other countries.
The Australian Veterinary Association welcomed the signing of the memorandums of understanding. Dr. Matt Makin, a past president, said the association believes the country has a responsibility to export Australian standards for animal health and welfare.
Animal welfare is not part of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. During the next few years, though, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) plans to develop welfare guidelines to assist countries with international negotiations. The OIE is placing priority on developing guidelines for transportation and slaughter of animals in agriculture and aquaculture.