By Boyd Champness

AUSTRALIAS first trial shipment of live sheep to Saudi Arabia arrived safely last week, ending a 10-year standoff in the trade between the two countries.

The 60,000 sheep sailed from Fremantle, Western Australia, on 11 January and arrived at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they were unloaded without incident.

“Once on shore they were delivered to a feedlot where they will eventually be distributed to different slaughterhouses,” Livecorp chief executive Kevin Shiell told The Weekly Times.

Although hailed a great success, Mr Shiell said the shipment was only the first in a series of six live shipments to Saudi Arabia.

The shipment was the first to Saudi Arabia since 1989 when Saudi authorities suspended trade due to concerns over scabby mouth.

Before then the Middle Eastern country was importing up to three million Australian sheep a year.