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Livestock SA condemns live sheep export ban

PIC – Livestock SA
Abbie Tiller

World leader in animal welfare “SHUT DOWN”

Livestock SA has condemned the Australian Government’s legislation to ban Australia’s live sheep by sea export trade from 1 May 2028, which passed the Senate late on Monday night.

Livestock SA President, Joe Keynes labelled the ill-conceived policy and the process that has taken place to “ram it through parliament”, as one of “the most profoundly deaf acts from government towards the livestock industry and agriculture more broadly for some time.”

“Shutting down an important sheep market that leads the world in animal welfare and provides much-needed flexibility during challenging times such as drought and industry adjustment is nonsensical,” Mr Keynes said.

“The animal welfare and lack of social licence grounds that the policy was built on have been disproven time and again.”

“The inadequacies of the measly $107 million adjustment package for Western Australia were clearly made during the hasty House of Representatives Committee Inquiry, yet no amendments made.”

“There has also been no recognition of the wide-ranging impacts this legislation will have on farmers and regional communities in other jurisdictions.”

“For example, more than 670,000 head of sheep have been trucked across the South Australian border in the first five months of this year. This 460 per cent increase on last year is the start of things to come, and the real impacts of this must be recognised and addressed.”

“July 1, 2024, has set a very alarming precedent for every agricultural industry, and other non-agricultural industries that may be unpopular to an unquantified element of society.”

“It demonstrates that science, performance, economics, international relationships, and impacts to industry and regional communities will be overlooked in favour of ideological agendas.”

“To develop good policies and associated legislation that will enable us to continue feeding and clothing the nation and people around the world, governments need to listen to the advice of industry experts, not anti-industry activists.”

West Australian campaigners not backing down

In Western Australia, Keep The Sheep campaigner, Ben Sutherland, said despite the weight in numbers supporting the sheep industry’s live export trade, “Anthony Albanese and Labor did what they were determined to do: Sell out WA rural communities”.

“Despite our efforts, Labor did get their ban passed in the Senate,” he said.

“And while this is disappointing, it is far from the end.”

Volunteers from “The Farmy Army” are now relying on the Coalition taking back power and overturning the the ban.

“The Coalition has promised to overturn the ban if they get elected,” Sutherland said. “Our focus in now solely on changing Labor held seats at the Federal election.

“If they think we’re quitting, they’ve got another thing coming.”

The Keep The Sheep campaign collected 44,000 signatures opposing the live sheep export ban in just one week, and supporters carried out one of the biggest Agricultural protest in the country’s history, with a convoy of 1700 horn honking trucks and 3000 protestors rallying through the streets of Perth, spreading the “Keep The Sheep” message.


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