The WAFarmers Livestock Council understands designated welfare officers raided the offices of Emanuel’s yesterday and confiscated a large amount of equipment, which could have in fact jeopardised the welfare of sheep on board a vessel approved to sail by Federal regulators recently.
We understand the purpose of this exercise was to gather evidence needed to support a criminal investigation initiated by the Western Australian State Government against Emanuel’s after issues were identified.
Livestock President David Slade said that despite the fact that the Federal Government has jurisdiction over the live export trade and has recently announced the delivery of recommendations from the McCarthy review; the State Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan appears to be determined to pursue her own agenda to cause as much disruption to the trade as seemingly possible.
“She has pursued this course of action, regardless of the implications to the industry she represents,” he said.
“The WAFarmers Livestock Council unequivocally supports the continuation of live export trade and every effort will be made to ensure this can be done without compromising animal welfare.
“The WAFarmers Livestock Council is becoming increasingly concerned with the actions of the Minister and her persistent attempt to undermine the agreed policies of the Federal Minister, particularly in relation to animal welfare matters.
“It appears the Minister is prepared to compromise the welfare of animals currently on a ship or on properties within the state to pursue an agenda that is being driven by minorities.
“It is clear that the Minister is not acting in the best interest for the agricultural industry in her determination to shut down the live export trade, and is doing everything in her power to inflame hostility to the live export industry.
“As well as attempting to end the live export trade within Western Australia, the Minister is overlooking other central issues affecting the states livestock industry.
“Over the past six months the industry has become increasingly concerned by the activities of the Minister in relation to animal welfare matters, such as using animal interest groups to assist in driving amendments to the Animal Welfare Act.
“We are further concerned with the lack of commitment and stalling progress to the State Barrier Fence Esperance extension due to politicking with the Federal Government, sacrificing the lives of sheep and cattle on farm due to wild dog attacks.
WAFarmers livestock Council has voiced their continued disappointment with the Minister that is meant to be supporting our industry, but is in fact using our businesses and livelihoods as political fodder to solidify her political legacy.
Clearly there is an urgent need for a meeting with the Minister to see if we can find solutions to these issues.