AgForce Queensland has rejected calls by the AMIEU to restrict live cattle exports.
AgForce Cattle President Bim Struss said any moves to wind back hard-won international trading contracts would do long-term damage to the cattle industry and the Queensland economy.
“At the moment we are starting to see a rebuild of cattle numbers after several years of drought with many farmers having to destock,” Mr Struss said.
“Australian cattle numbers are at a 20-year low and numbers across northern Australia would be even lower.
“The ravages of drought coupled with the live export ban in 2011 resulted in an oversupply of cattle destined to slaughter.
“Slaughter bookings were stretched six months ahead driving cattle prices down when Australian beef was selling at record prices around the world.
“Any move to turn our backs on free trade at the first sign of a downturn in one section of the supply chain will do long-term damage to the whole supply chain and our reputation for high-quality and reliable protein.
“A healthy and sustainable industry results when all parts of the industry are profitable. AgForce wants to see all sectors of the supply chain healthy and profitable, whether that’s transporters, processors, live exporters, stock agents and our members who we support.
“That means we need to work together to rebuild the cattle herd and balance the supply and demand equation.”
We stand ready to actively engage with AMIEU on sensible solutions.
Mr Struss said that he would also seek a meeting with Queensland senator Glen Lazarus regarding his comments that live cattle trade should be restricted.
“Those comments are unfortunate and fail to take into account the last four years and the future,” Mr Struss said.