Live Export

Both sides of live export debate to rally in WA

Beef Central, 12/11/2012

Livestock export trade supporters have announced plans to converge on Fremantle next week to rally alongside an anti-live-export movement protest.

Organisers stress that their aim is not to create a confrontation and will maintain a reasonable distance from anti-live export protesters.

However they believe the move is necessary to ensure the public sees another side to the live export story.

Their attention will focus on a protest organised by the Stop Live Export movement in Fremantle next Sunday, where anti-live export campaigners plan to form a human chain across the Stirling Bridge to demonstrate their opposition to animal exports.

One of the organisers of the Support Live Export rally is WA sheep producer Michael Trant, the author of the popular Farmers Way blog and a social media regular who uses Twitter and Facebook to actively engage with people opposed to live exports and livestock farming in general.

He says his experiences have made him strongly doubt anti-live export movement claims that the vast majority of Australians want to see the trade shut down.

“I tweet a lot of live ex stuff, and I’ve made a point of trying to follow and attract a lot of non-rural folk,” he explained to Beef Central.

“I even chat with three or four vegans.

“Very rarely do I get pulled up by anyone about it. I find that interesting.

“If 80pc of people are against it, well they are very quiet about it. Personally I think most are too busy too busy coping with life to get really worried.

“Same as when any bad news story hits. We shrug, think, gee that’s bad, then the next bill comes and we forget and move on.

“But it only takes a vocal few, dedicated to create the illusion of a majority, to give that impression.

“Look at the ban live-ex rallies. Maybe 10,000 nationwide last year? Hard to tell, they do a sheep sellers count, always add a few to the tally to be sure.”

In a letter to supporters Mr Trant stressed the need to avoid confrontation between the opposing groups, and said the support live export rally will not enter the bridge where the human chain is being formed.

He said the initial response had been strong with farmers, ex-farmers, truck drivers, stock agents, export company staff, feed mill staff and veterinarians as well as non-farming supporters expected to join the rally.

“One good thing out this whole mess is the connections we’ve all made with each other. We’re not isolated anymore," Mr Trant said.

For further information about the rally on Mr Trant's blog click here




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