Farm­ers reach out on the live ex­port trade

Countryman - - NEWS - Cally Dupe

Why we ex­port sheep, is a com­monly asked ques­tion and one which the web­site ad­dresses. Tony Ma­har

A Woodanilling sheep pro­ducer is one of a hand­ful of farm­ers who have lent their voice to a na­tional cam­paign aimed at pro­mot­ing the im­por­tance of the live ex­port in­dus­try.

Bindi Mur­ray, who sits on the Sheep Pro­duc­ers Aus­tralia board and is help­ing to co­or­di­nate Perth’s LambX event next month, is one of five Aus­tralian pro­duc­ers fea­tured on a new web­site called Live Ex­port Facts.

A story about her life and pho­tographs have been up­loaded to the web­site, which was spear­headed by Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion, WAFarm­ers and Sheep Pro­duc­ers Aus­tralia.

There is also a link to a YouTube chan­nel, with videos about farm­ers who sup­ply sheep to the Aus­tralian live ex­port trade.

The site in­vites view­ers to “get the facts on live­stock ex­ports”, with tabs fea­tur­ing fact sheets, live ex­port news and questions and answers.

Of the five peo­ple pro­filed on the web­site by Tues­day af­ter­noon, all were from WA.

The site also fea­tured pro­files and videos of Wa­gin sheep farmer Clay­ton South, south­ern live­stock car­rier Andy Ja­cob, Nar­ro­gin ul­tra­white sheep breeder Daw­son Brad­ford and Katan­ning shire pres­i­dent Liz Guider.

Each shared the im­por­tance of the live ex­port in­dus­try to their busi­ness, fam­ily and ru­ral com­mu­nity on the web­site and in a YouTube video.

Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tony Ma­har said the site was cre­ated to “speak di­rectly to” the gen­eral pub­lic.

“The NFF sup­ports a fu­ture for Aus­tralian sheep ex­ports, with change,” he said. “Change that guarantees an­i­mal wel­fare as the num­ber one pri­or­ity and that holds ex­porters found to be do­ing the wrong thing, to high ac­count.

“The con­tin­u­a­tion of the in­dus­try is im­por­tant for many rea­sons, and we felt the need to ex­plain these rea­sons.”

In Ms Mur­ray’s YouTube video, she told view­ers her fam­ily farmed 15,000 sheep across 7000ha, prid­ing them­selves on rais­ing healthy and con­tent live­stock.

“A ban on the in­dus­try is not the an­swer,” she said in the video. “As a farmer, I want to see change driven by science in the sheep ex­port sec­tor . . . and cul­tural change, in the best in­ter­ests of the sheep.

Mr Ma­har said the site pro­vided a vi­tal link be­tween peo­ple liv­ing in cities and peo­ple in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

“Shar­ing the sto­ries of farm­ers, those work­ing in the sup­ply chain and com­mu­nity lead­ers, we aim to bet­ter in­form Aus­tralians about the in­dus­try,” he said. “The web­site seeks to an­swer many of the questions av­er­age Aus­tralians might have.

“Why we ex­port sheep, is a com­monly asked ques­tion and one which the web­site ad­dresses.”

Pic­ture: Ashley Pearce

Woodanilling sheep pro­ducer Bindi Mur­ray.

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