Western Australia’s peak agricultural lobby group, WAFarmers, supports the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council and their response to the latest campaign by animal rights activists to ban live export.
A campaign to ban the live animal export industry has been launched with bus and billboard advertisements by Animals Australia suggesting the trade is a “crime against animals”.
WAFarmers Meat Section President Jeff Murray said the sheep industry is an integral part of the Australian economy and a fundamental part of that is animal welfare.
“The welfare of livestock is central to the practices of all farmers in the sector – without strong animal welfare, farmers don’t have a livelihood,” Mr Murray said.
Australia maintains world class animal welfare standards and is constantly working to improve these.
“We have an ongoing staff training program in the country of destination, to ensure the highest welfare standards,” Mr Murray said.
There is a long history of sheep production in Australia as they are well suited to the country’s landscape and climate, with over 50 per cent of production being exported, both chilled and live product are required for global customers.
Therefore, producers must rely on international demand to sustain the market.
“Banning the live export trade would have a serious negative impact on a billion dollar industry and the livelihood of thousands of people,” Mr Murray said.
“Furthermore, it would not improve animal welfare.
“Australian markets would go to exporters who don’t invest in welfare, train their staff or consider the health and welfare needs of their livestock.”
All media requests can be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Sophie Kilby on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].