Sheep Producers Australia has welcomed the release of the McCarthy Review and will begin to assess its recommendations and consult with members and stakeholders.
President Allan Piggott said, since the review was instigated by Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, SPA had committed to waiting on its recommendations before making any decisions on the way forward.
“The McCarthy Review was initiated to provide evidence-based advice for industry on where improvements could be made for exports of live sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer,” Mr Piggott said.
“SPA believes that the recommendations outlined acknowledge the complex environment that the livestock export trade operates in and provide a solid foundation for rebuilding sheep producers’ trust in the trade.
“The review defines a truly independent, evidence-based approach to a solution, based on a solid, technical understanding of the industry.
“SPA wants to work with the Minister, our members and the livestock export sector to ensure an outcome can be achieved that protects the welfare of animals while preserving the trade and the benefits it delivers to farmers, regional communities and those employed in the supply chain.
“SPA also welcomes action taken so far by Australian livestock exporters to bring change to their industry and improve animal welfare outcomes, in line with the expectations of farmers and the community.
“We thank Minister Littleproud for delivering on his commitment to undertake the review and will continue to work with him toward a science and evidence-based solution.”
WA farmer and SPA board member Bindi Murray said the recommendations outlined in the review were significant and would further help to bring about the cultural change in the live export trade which sheep producers were seeking.
“As a farmer, I know the importance of the livestock export trade to my community, my family and my farm business. The recommendations outlined in the report provide a great foundation moving forward and will set the expectation of how the trade needs to operate,” Ms Murray said.
“We all recognise that cultural change is needed and the review provides the road map for improved animal welfare.
“Looking after animals is about managing a variety of different environments and situations and the trade moving to a model that supports a welfare-based system is in line with how we, as producers, care for our animals.”