The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) is calling for the expansion of live exports and the refinement of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) as a matter of priority for the next Federal government.
WAFarmers President Dale Park said live export was a vital trade which contributed more than $1 billion to the Australian economy annually and employed more than 10,000 people across the nation.
The Australian economy and animal welfare standards would benefit from increased foreign market access, Mr Park said.
“Industry relies on government to facilitate efficient and effective trade activity with key global importing regions.
“By maintaining a strong presence in foreign markets, we can ensure Australia’s high animal welfare standards are transposed internationally,” Mr Park said.
While there have been substantial improvements in animal welfare since the introduction of ESCAS, Mr Park said there was still room to streamline the system and further enhance standards.
“By harmonising auditing requirements, both government and exporters will, among other things, be able to target and address problems more efficiently, which will have positive flow-on effects for producers.”
“The Federal government, whoever that may be after September 7, has a responsibility to ensure the viability of the live export trade and support the nation’s food producers.”