Levels of public acceptance of live animal exports do not appear to have altered in the past 12 months despite ongoing public and social media campaigns against the trade by animal welfare and rights groups, a new public opinion poll indicates.
In its latest independent weekly poll, Essential Media gauged public attitudes on live animal exports.
Survey participants were asked to choose which one of four statements most closely matched their view about the export of live animals for slaughter.
25pc agreed with the view that Australia should not export live sheep and cattle to any country at all.
52pc agreed with the view that Australia should only export live sheep and cattle to countries which guarantee they will be treated humanely.
16pc said Australia should export live sheep and cattle to any country that wants them.
7pc said they did not know.
Those most opposed to exporting live sheep and cattle to any country at all were Greens voters (35pc), women (30pc) and respondents on incomes under $600 pw (36pc).
Essential Media said the responses have changed little since it asked the same question one year ago.
In that poll 54pc said Australia should only export live sheep and cattle to countries which guarantee they will be treated humanely. 25pc said Australia should not export live sheep and cattle to any country at all, while 15pc said Australia should export to any country that wants our animals and 6pc said they did not know.
'We stand by this industry': Joyce
Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture and deputy leader of the Nationals Barnaby Joyce reaffirmed the Coalition Government’s commitment to the livestock export trade while responding to his first question as a member of the House of Representatives on the first working day of the 44th Parliament yesterday.
The minister was asked by LNP member for the North Queensland seat of Leichardt Warren Entsch to outline the action he is taking 'to deliver a sustainable live export trade that increases economic returns to farmers and exporters in the long term'.
Mr Joyce told the House that the live export issue “really personified” the former Labor Government.
“It was a sad day indeed when we woke up and found out that the country was not actually being run by the Labor government; it was being run by Four Corners—when we found out that one of our closest trading relationships, one of our most important partnerships, had been basically taken through the mud by reason of the rash and irrational actions of a government that just could not come to grips with the hard decisions.”
Mr Joyce said the Coalition had made a priority of talking to affected producers and visiting Jakarta within weeks of winning power to restore the relationship, a visit that had been quickly followed by the release of significant new cattle import permits by Indonesia.
“We will stand by this industry,” he told Parliament yesterday afternoon.
“In fact, we hope it grows, we hope it increases, because we stand by the return to the farm gate that this industry represents.
“We will be a responsible government. We will be a government that is not guided by Four Corners but is guided by the capacity to act diligently.
“I note that in the future we will also, within my department, take a delegation to Indonesia so that we can build on this relationship, expand this trade and show that we can bring dignity back to the people of Northern Australia and back to this industry, which is a great industry for our nation.”
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