Export suspension stuns
The slam-bang nature of the Federal Government’s decision to suspend Emanuel Exports’ export licence has sent shivers down the spines of cattle producers still recovering from the 2011 live export ban.
It was a three-day turnaround period from last Tuesday’s State Government raids on the exporters’ offices in Perth to when the Federal Department for Agriculture and Water announced the exporter’s licence would be suspended for an indefinite period on Friday.
The suspension left 60,000 sheep owned by Emanuel Exports in limbo, stuck in a quarantine feedlot south of Perth, and the exporter two options — find another exporter to facilitate the trade or sell sheep to local abattoirs.
Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s
Association vice-president David Stoate said the 2011 live export ban, sparked by shocking footage that shook the industry to its foundation, cost hundreds of millions of dollars and sent a number of producers out of business.
Seven years on, the Federal Government now faces a lengthy class action Mr Stoate said was likely to result in a “significant liability” for the Commonwealth.
“Pastoralists always hope that the Federal and State Governments fully assess the consequences of their actions prior to making knee-jerk decisions,” Mr Stoate said.
“The consequences of the suspension of Emanuel’s export licence have clearly not been thought through.
“No information has been provided on what actions are required to be taken for the suspension to be lifted.”
Mr Stoate said pastoralists were watching the live sheep trade issue with great interest.