Live sheep trade ‘vital’ to farmers

By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on August 28, 2020

SUPPORTERS of the live sheep trade gathered in several regional towns last week for the second of Federal O’Connor MP Rick Wilson’s Live Export Update tour in his electorate.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Mr Wilson toured the Wheatbelt with Dr Holly Ludeman and Managing Director of the Livestock Collective Dr Chris Back to discuss the future of the Live Animal Export (LAE) and the challenges being faced by local farmers.

Mr Wilson said the meetings, which were held in Kojonup, Brookton, Wickepin, Lake Grace and Darkan, were essential to keep WA farmers informed of the state of LAE trade.

“Australia has the highest standard of animal welfare in the world,” he said.

“The industry has worked cooperatively with Government to address community concerns and continues to implement measures which increase those welfare standards.”

More than 150 farmers attended the meetings to engage in discussion of LAE trade and other agricultural matters.

Mr Wilson said completing ceasing LAE would be detrimental to farmers and Australia’s trading partners around the world.

“These measures [the industry introduced] included a voluntary moratorium on trade during the northern summer implemented by the Live Animal Export industry,” he said.

“Earlier this year the Mecardo report, commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia, outlined the real economic impact of three-month disruption to the trade since May 2018.

“2020 and the outbreak of covid brought their own challenges as our major trading partners in the Middle East experienced significant food shortages as a result of grounded passenger planes no longer providing frozen freight.

“Australia’s Live Animal Export industry is vital to families across O’Connor, to our state and national economic future and to sure up food security across the world.”