“By supporting a ban on animal live exports many of Australia’s urban dwellers see fit to discard our livestock industries to economic oblivion.”
“If live animal exports were to cease from Australia the negative economic (including the multiplier) effect on Australia’s income well over a billion dollars annually”
The proponents of a live animal export ban are lobbying to replace live animal exports by suggesting that many large scale abattoirs be built to slaughter such animals within Australia. There many hundreds of thousands of animals that are currently exported live annually from Australia. Why hasn’t the free market of world trade decided to do it already? The idea if not so serious is laughable and naive in the extreme. Those suggesting the idea are suffering from a distorted view of reality. They know little about the meat and livestock industries, let alone Australian agriculture in general.
We are and have been in Australia for many years benefiting from a major resources boom that has created a significant shortage of skilled labour in Australia. How would the large number of abattoirs needed to replace the live animal export industry be able to attract a consistent and sufficient number of abattoir workers to slaughter all of these animals domestically? They wouldn’t even come close even if all of the abattoirs were near most of the capital cities let alone attracting large numbers of abattoir workers needed to slaughter cattle in remote regions all across northern Australia.
Many live sheep and cattle exports in Australia are very seasonal in nature. The large capacity of live export vessels can transport and market large numbers of livestock within a short season. E.g. During the dry season in northern Australia. In southern WA many sheep are exported during summer and autumn following the winter rains of the mediterranean season. Abattoirs could not process the large seasonal turnoff of livestock. Farms and stations throughout Australia are unable to steadily trickle livestock onto the market because of seasonal weather and varying amounts of feed on offer to livestock at different times of the year. E.g. It is uneconomical to keep selling sheep from a southern WA farm in August when there is most food on offer after having hand fed them through the summer and autumn when there is a significant feed gap.
New Zealand produces infinitely less livestock from very different climates compared to Australia. New Zealand doesn’t have a sub tropical based pastoral cattle industry. To use New Zealand as a role model for why Australia should abandon live animal exports is absurd and foolish. On a political level I very much doubt that New Zealand would wish to consign their sheep and cattle producers to the economic dustbin as seems to be happening in Australia.
If the animals that are exported suffer so badly as the proponents of Live Export Bans suggest then why do the consumers of the meat from these live exported animals continue to buy and consume such meat from these animals? The economic laws of supply and demand would mean over time would mean that the live animal exports from Australia would die a natural death due to poor quality meat due to the supposed animal suffering on live export boats. This is obviously not the case.
If Australian live cattle are banned from Indonesia in the future the Indonesians may well import animals live from other countries throughout the world that have a history of foot and mouth disease. If this was the case Australian animals at home would be at a huge risk of catching foot and mouth disease. Such an event would be catastrophic for the whole of Australian society not just Australian farmers. The animal activists would be very distressed at such an event.
If live exports are outdated as the proponents of a live animal export ban suggest then they should consider the huge investment live animal exporters Wellard Rural and other such companies have made by acquiring new and modern ships in the last 1-2 years.
It is an irony that Australian people such as the proponents of a live animal export ban are turning on Australian sheep and cattle producers with an ignorant brand of vitriole, contempt and hatred.
Australian history tells us that domesticated livestock industries helped in a significant way to develop this country in difficult circumstances and under tough conditions. Australia rode on the sheep’s back for a large part of the 20th century. In the 19th century the wool helped to attract people , develop towns and properties , roads and railways over a vast areas of rural Australia.
In 2011 we are a wealthy country benefitting from mining royalties and its economic multiplier effect. We have been largely immune to the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. Many urban Australians do not value their farmers. Australia has not suffered food shortages like the Europeans have in the 20th century.
Urban Australians who oppose live animal exports are living in a fools paradise thinking that the mining and resource industries and China’s trade will carry Australia’s economic fortune forever. By supporting a ban on animal live exports many of Australia’s urban dwellers see fit to discard our livestock industries to economic oblivion. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that this will happen. The dependence of Australia’s sheep and cattle industries have on live export markets remaining open is enormous.
If live animal exports were to cease from Australia the negative economic (including the multiplier) effect on Australia’s income would be well over a billion dollars annually.
Many urban people would be affected in a negative way. Rural service industries such as transport, livestock agents, fuel and merchandise companies and many rural towns across Australia will be severely effected, many to the point of extinction.
The cost of banning Australian live animal exports to almost every Australian tax payer would be significant and long lasting.