Government's live export ban results in farmers disappointment

NSW Farmers president James Jackson, from the Northern Tablelands. Photo: File.

NSW Farmers president James Jackson, from the Northern Tablelands. Photo: File.

A peak body representing farmers in New South Wales are disappointed by the actions of the Senate in supporting a phase out of live exports.

A private members bill, co-sponsored by the Greens along with independents Derryn Hinch and Tim Storer, passed the upper house on Monday. 

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said farmers have been let down by their elected representatives.

“Farmers will feel the brunt of this decision and yet we were not allowed at the decision-making table,” he said.

“This decision to ban a vital industry has not been informed by facts but has been driven by emotion and political point scoring.

“The Senate has shown an utter disregard for farmers and rural communities, and the decision will ultimately damage animal welfare.”

Mr Jackson said Australia is a world leader in animal health and welfare.

“Our involvement in the live export trade ensures that we also export our high welfare standards thought the globe,” he said.

“We are the only nation with a system that monitors and prioritises animal welfare from farm gate to destination.

“We recognise that there are areas for improvement and are committed to ensuring that these occur so that the trade meets the welfare expectations of Australian farmers and the broader community.”

The live sheep exports industry is a vital part of the agricultural sector and it contributes $250 million to the Australian economy.

“A ban on the live export trade is a risk to the whole industry, not just that in Western Australia,” Mr Jackson said.

"All farmers will feel the negative impact and there will be a negative ripple effect right across the country with excess sheep on the market.

“We strongly support the continuation of the live sheep export trade to protect welfare throughout the world, and to support our farmers and regional communities.

Mr Jackson said they call on members of the House of Representative to vote against this bill.

“Work with farmers to improve the trade and not ban it,”  Mr Jackson concluded.