Allan Marshall recently published an excellent article outlining the important role live sheep exports play in delivering multiple benefits, especially improved animal welfare and global food security.
The Lake Grace farmers’ analysis also highlighted the industry’s job-creation in rural communities and taxation revenue that’s subsequently re-invested into delivering critical public services.
“Export income provides the Australian people with the hospitals, schools and many other ancillary services required by a modern society,” he wrote.
Allan’s article rightly questioned the validity of ‘social license’ issues raised by animal rights activists more than five years ago via highly emotive and sensationalised media reports, which led to Labor’s decision to ban the trade, if re-elected.
So why does this closure of the live sheep trade concern Grain Producers Australia?
Firstly, many of our members are also livestock producers so they’re living already with the social and economic consequences, such as vastly reduced sheep prices.
Secondly, the version of ‘social license’ used to ‘justify’ this ban is politically distorted and that problem needs to be urgently addressed so producers have clarity and certainty in future.
Something’s horribly wrong with the world when an industry that’s operating with a success rate of 99.97per cent (in preventing mortalities) – remembering there’s no such thing as zero risk – and has responded to so called ‘public concerns’, is now being banned, to serve a political agenda.