In­dus­try fears ex­port back­lash

North West Telegraph - - News - Tay­lar Amonini

Pil­bara cat­tle­men are wait­ing to see whether the live cat­tle ex­port trade will be ad­versely af­fected af­ter shock­ing footage was re­leased ear­lier this month of sheep treated in­hu­manely on a live ex­port ship to the Mid­dle East.

The video, filmed by a nav­i­ga­tion of­fi­cer, showed dozens of dis­tressed sheep strug­gling to breathe while dead an­i­mals were thrown over the side of a boat op­er­ated by Perth ex­porter Emanuel.

Since the footage aired, pas­toral­ists have been on edge, wait­ing to see whether the events will af­fect the live cat­tle ex­port in­dus­try.

Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man David Stoate said de­spite the footage show­ing a ship­ment of live sheep, it put ex­tra scru­tiny on all live­stock ex­ports, in­clud­ing cat­tle. “Footage like that is never a great time for the whole live­stock in­dus­try,” he said.

“(If it led to a clo­sure of all live an­i­mal ex­ports) it would make most pas­toral prop­er­ties in the north un­vi­able.

The abat­toir (at Kim­ber­ley’s Yeeda Sta­tion) is pro­cess­ing cat­tle that doesn’t meet the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for live ex­port.

“Most of our cat­tle goes to In­done­sia and most of them are fed in feed­lots there — we’re good at breed­ing cat­tle and they can fin­ish them off to slaugh­ter weight.”

Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan said de­spite the fo­cus be­ing on sheep, all mem­bers of the in­dus­try needed to band to­gether to keep the in­dus­try alive. “We have been ask­ing the in­dus­try for a very long time to fix up these trou­ble spots,” she said. She noted cat­tle on the voy­age in ques­tion were not ad­versely af­fected dur­ing the trip, un­like the sheep in the footage.

Pic­ture: Sophia Con­stan­tine

Live ex­port cat­tle at Port Hed­land port in 2017.

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