Sheep Producers Australia President Allan Piggott says sheep producers are upset, angry and disappointed about serious animal welfare failures in the live sheep trade to the Middle East, reported by media.
“As sheep producers, we always have high expectations about animal welfare standards and the wellbeing of our sheep. We care deeply for the welfare of our animals and want to see this continued after they leave our farm gate,” Mr Piggott said.
“Sheep Producers Australia is yet to see the footage that is to be released and so we have not seen the full extent of conditions.”
Mr Piggott says SPA represents a diverse sheep industry which needs diverse marketing options for its long-term sustainability.
“While SPA supports the livestock export trade because it is an important component of some producers’ livelihoods, especially those in Western Australia. However, we expect best practice animal welfare protocols and expect strict enforcement if standards are not met.
“We welcome Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud’s statement announcing a review to determine why these shipments did not meet the expectations of sheep producers and the broader community.
“We’ll be working with the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, which has already stated that animal welfare is its biggest investment and highest priority.
“As producers, we want to know that once animals leave our care, they are well looked after and we support strict enforcement of standards to achieve this.”