“Ill-informed and irresponsible” live sheep ban condemned by cattle industry

Cattle Australia has condemned the Federal Government’s ill-informed and irresponsible ban of live sheep exports by sea, following the Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Export by Sea) Bill 2024 being passed by the Senate. 

CA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, said the passing of the legislation served as a chilling red flag for Australian agriculture.

“This ban is a blatant attack on Australian agriculture and an egregious concession to activist ideology, fuelled by base political reasons,” Dr Parker said.

“The Albanese Government has overlooked sound, evidence-based policy, rushed through a House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry, and offered the sheep industry a tokenistic compensation package.

“It is clear there is only one type of science involved in this decision and that is political science.”

Dr Parker said the cattle industry stood in solidarity with the West Australian sheep and cattle producers impacted by the ban and is committed to continuing to fight for the future of Australia’s livestock industries.

“This ban sets a dangerous precedent and sends shivers down the spines of cattle producers,” Dr Parker said.

“It has been made very clear cattle exports are the next target, with the closure of live sheep exports by sea resulting in a de facto ban already imposed on cattle exports from southern WA, given mixed species consignments are common.”

Dr Parker said through this ban, the Albanese Government had demonstrated inner city votes are more important than a prosperous agricultural sector and safe, responsible food production.

“This decision is not about animal welfare, it is purely about votes,” Dr Parker said.

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt are pandering to ideologically-driven groups who are fundamentally opposed to livestock production.

“Nothing is enough for these groups other than the complete cessation of livestock farming for food and fibre, and indulging such extremism is already causing irreparable damage to one of the biggest contributors to the Australian economy and an integral part of our social fabric.

“The global repercussions of the ban are also being ignored by Government, and trading partners are now looking to us as being less reliable to meet their food security needs.”

-Cattle Australia