AWAIT­ING LIVE EX­PORT BLOW BACK

Changes to live ex­ports could af­fect Mara­noa gra­ziers

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - Joshua Macree Joshua.Macree@west­ern­starnews.com

FED­ERAL Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud has said the deaths of sheep on live ex­port trade ships could have far-reach­ing con­se­quences for gra­ziers across Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing the Mara­noa.

While live trade in Aus­tralia pre­dom­i­nantly comes from sheep pro­duc­ers in Western and South Aus­tralia, Mr Lit­tleproud said lo­cal gra­ziers might feel the flow-on ef­fects of any changes to ex­port­ing.

“If we don’t have a sus­tain­able live trade ex­port then ef­fec­tively it will have an im­pact on the over­all price for sheep in Aus­tralia, so that would im­pact sheep pro­duc­ers in the Mara­noa if the live trade wasn’t to con­tinue,” he said.

“It’s about giv­ing con­fi­dence to the community that the live trade ex­port can con­tinue with an­i­mal wel­fare at its heart.”

Mr Lit­tleproud’s com­ments fol­lowed two ma­jor an­nounce­ments on Monday af­ter­noon – the es­tab­lish­ment of a whis­tle-blower hot­line for any­one con­cerned about an­i­mal wel­fare and a re­view into live ex­port ship­ping from Aus­tralia.

The an­nounce­ments were made af­ter the Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter was shown footage by An­i­mals Aus­tralia of live sheep on an ex­port ship from Perth al­legedly suf­fer­ing and dy­ing from con­di­tions on board.

Tri­cia Agar, a wool pro­ducer from Bar­bara Plains, 26km west of Wyan­dra, said while she wel­comed a re­view, changes to live ex­ports would be a dis­ser­vice to gra­ziers and ex­porters.

“For the peo­ple that op­er­ate th­ese boats, it’s in their best in­ter­ests to pro­vide a live ar­ti­cle at the end of the trip,” she said.

“They’ll get paid for the numbers that come off, not for the dead ones.”

Mrs Agar be­lieves that an­i­mal wel­fare groups pose a se­ri­ous threat to the liveli­hoods of pro­duc­ers.

“For groups like An­i­mals Aus­tralia and PETA, they don’t want any­one to have any an­i­mal in­ter­ac­tion what­so­ever and their end game is to get rid of agri­cul­ture, which is to­tally il­log­i­cal” she said.

Mrs Agar said an­i­mal wel­fare was at the heart and soul of all gra­ziers.

“If you are as in­volved with an­i­mals like we are (at Bar­bara Plains), you’re not go­ing to be cruel to an­i­mals,” she said.

“If an an­i­mal is fright­ened or badly treated you are hardly go­ing to get much money from that an­i­mal.

“We are a busi­ness and if we aren’t in busi­ness, then who’s feed­ing the na­tion?”

PHOTO: TRI­CIA AGAR

EX­PORT UN­CER­TAINTY: Jef­frey Agar with his stock at Bar­bara Plains.

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