Peak rural lobby group AgForce has reiterated the importance of the live export industry and its confidence in the sector’s long term ability to be an ethical, responsible and valuable component of primary production in Queensland.
In a press release issued on Monday, in the wake of national protests organised by Animals Australia calling for an end to the trade, AgForce General President, Brent Finlay, said despite some isolated incidents in the Middle East, Australia was helping to ensure positive welfare outcomes foexported stock and must be involved in the trade to continue this work.
He also criticised animal rights groups for destructive lobbying against live export that would ultimately only damage animal welfare and further sever Australian relations with Indonesia and other existing and potential customers.
“There is no doubt live export is fundamental to the success of many primary production enterprises and the livelihood of the families who operate these businesses,” Mr Finlay said.
“But our continued involvement also allows us to ensure the welfare outcomes of stock being exported, through the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance (ESCAS), and to continue to set standards for our industry far in excess of that which could be offered by potential competitors from other countries.”
“Destructive behaviours aimed at shutting down the industry will only end in countries with little regulation filling market requirements, ultimately creating broad scale animal welfare disasters.”
Mr Finlay said AgForce also strongly supported the work of Federal Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig, in his ongoing efforts to improve relations with the Indonesian Government and to enforce the ESCAS system to help firm up the long term future of the industry.
“Senator Ludwig has now focused on the value of this industry to businesses and families across Australia and has taken steps to put frameworks in place that make sure it can operate while closely monitoring the welfare of Australian stock,” Mr Finlay said.
“AgForce strongly supports this work and urges other politicians and stakeholders to also see the longer term importance of the live export industry and its ability to be sustainable, ethical and productive.”
“We are now looking for support from all appropriate ministers, both State and Federal, and a coordinated approach to securing the future of this important component of Australian agriculture and trade.”