Australia, Transport Industry News

Associations fight back on sheep export ban

Sheep export ban

A number of Australia’s trucking associations have voiced their opinions in the Australian Trucking Association’s Friday Facts newsletter on the federal government’s ban on live sheep exports.

The current bill tabled before parliament, titled the Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024, proposes to ban all export of live sheep by sea from May 1, 2028.

Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association CEO Rachel Smith is leading the charge, saying the ALRTA is strongly opposed to the intended phase out.

“Australia is a world leader in animal welfare and has made significant changes to the way in which animals are exported – changes that have been both regulated and voluntary,” she says.

“Australia is the only country that regulates animal welfare standards in other countries and invests in training and auditing to ensure those standards are met. The decision to ban live sheep exports sets a dangerous precedent.”

The Western Roads Federation has also joined the cause, with CEO Cam Dumesny saying he believes the political processes behind the introduction of the bill should be questioned by the transport industry.

“If this activist appeasing process becomes the standard, then your sector of transport might be impacted next,” he says.

“Removing Australia from the trade won’t stop live sheep exports; it will just lower global animal welfare standards.”

Also from WA, Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association of Western Australia CEO Jan Cooper believes the ban would not only affect transport businesses that carry livestock, but also those that transport grain, hay, fodder and fertiliser.

“The federal government has grossly underestimated the effect that removing competition from the sheep market will have on farmers’ production decisions,” she says.

“Transporters that are part of the live sheep export supply chain will lose between 30-40 per cent of their income and their equipment will lose value.

“The rural communities in which they live will suffer. People are worried about their future whether it’s the tyre shop, local mechanic or grocery store, and they feel powerless.

“All this in an industry that has stepped up to the plate and made changes to address historic animal welfare concerns.”

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