Latest live export economics don't stack up

A succession of economic reports since 2009, including industry-funded reports, have all concluded the same thing – the live sheep trade is of diminishing value to the economy and to individual sheep producers.

The Mecardo research quoted by WA Farmers Federation today makes assumptions that aren’t factually based.

  1. The scale of cost they have identified represents an extreme worst case and ambit claim. Their assumptions are way out of proportion to the value of the total trade which was $230 million in the last financial year.
  2. They’re assuming there is no alternative market for these sheep which is not a reasoned, rational or sensible argument and is at odds with current market opportunities.
  3. Their reliance on 30 years of data distorts the current situation. The market was very different 30 years ago (Australia had a supported wool price, a sheep flock twice the size what it is today and there were different conditions in the Middle East).

A detailed economic examination of the current market and available data reveals that transitioning from the live sheep trade is achievable in way that ensures that farmers are not negatively impacted.

“We are very happy for an independent analysis to be conducted by the government and for this analysis to make its own determinations,” said Animals Australia CEO Glenys Oogjes.

“Whatever the figure might be to assist producers to transition away from the live sheep trade, the scale of the regulatory failure warrants a government structural adjustment package being provided.”

“This is especially justified given the Australian government has just given nearly $150 million to the live export industry to train meatworkers in Vietnam.”

“We are confident that a solution can be found that is better for animals, producers and the economy.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Chalk | [email protected] | 0488 006 478 or 0447 011 409

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