Media Release - Shire of Narrogin President Condemns Federal Government's Decision on Live Sheep Export Phase-Out

Published on Tuesday, 21 May 2024 at 10:13:53 AM


 Shire of Narrogin President Condemns Federal Government's Decision on Live Sheep Export Phase-Out


Narrogin, Western Australia — Shire President Leigh Ballard has strongly criticised the Federal Government's decision to phase out live sheep exports by May 1, 2028, labelling the move as short-sighted and grossly inadequate in terms of compensation for the industry.

"The Albanese Government's announcement, accompanied by a mere $107 million transition support package, is a severe blow to our region and the broader agricultural sector. This decision not only undermines the livelihood of countless farmers and associated industries but also jeopardises animal welfare on a global scale," Mr. Ballard stated.

Australia has long been a benchmark for high animal welfare standards in live exports. Removing our presence from the market will lead to a significant decline in these standards internationally. Countries with little to no welfare regulations will now dominate the market, perpetuating poor animal treatment practices that Australia had been mitigating through its stringent standards.

"By banning live trade, the government is effectively abandoning its leadership role in promoting humane treatment of livestock globally. This decision will have the unintended consequence of falling animal welfare conditions worldwide, as there will be no Australian benchmark to uphold these standards," Mr. Ballard added.

The Federal Government's decision is seen by many as a political manoeuvre aimed at appeasing urban and environmentalist voters at the expense of regional communities. This sentiment is echoed by National Farmers Federation CEO Tony Mahar, who criticised the move as "shooting themselves in the foot," highlighting that Australian farmers are now left without a competitive edge in the global market.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Nationals leader David Littleproud have both voiced strong opposition, noting the extensive reforms and improvements in animal welfare that the industry has undergone since the 2018 incident involving the Awassi Express. These reforms have resulted in the lowest mortality rates in history, far surpassing the conditions animals face in paddocks over equivalent time periods.

Mr. Ballard continued, "The government's minimal support package is a slap in the face to our farmers. It fails to address the economic ramifications for our regional communities and undermines Australia's reputation as a reliable supplier of high-quality, sustainable produce."

The Shire of Narrogin calls on the Federal Government to reconsider this decision and engage in meaningful consultation with the agricultural sector and meat processors to find a balanced solution that supports both animal welfare and the livelihoods of Australian farmers and meat processors.

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Further information on this media release may be obtained by contacting Dale Stewart,  or telephone 08 9890 0900.

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