David Littleproud issues warning to Labor, Susan Ley for proposed ban on export of live sheep

National team leader David Littleproud has issued a warning shot over a proposal that would cost Australia billions of dollars.

David Littleproud says Labor’s plan to phase out exports of live sheep – backed by the Liberal deputy leader – is a “stupid idea” that will cost Australians billions of dollars.

Ahead of last month’s federal elections, Labor confirmed its intention to commit to its 2019 election pledge to phase out live sheep exports, citing animal welfare concerns.

The citizen leader has targeted Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Agriculture Minister Murray Watt for their renewed commitment, which will disproportionately affect the WA economy.

Mr. Albanese said the industry would not be shut down during this government term, with Senator Watt expressing his intentions to consult the industry, relevant state governments and other interested parties to phase out the industry from. nearly 100 million dollars.

Albanese said the economic consequences would be taken into consideration, but ultimately people worry about “animal welfare issues”.

It’s a sentiment backed by current Liberal Deputy Leader Sussan Ley, who broke ranks in 2018 to support a Labor bill to phase out live sheep exports.

He reaffirmed his position as recently as last month, telling Sky News: “There is a win here.”

“If we increase the processing capacity in Australia, we really don’t need this trade at all,” he said.

Although Mr. Littleproud did not mention Ms. Ley by name when he spoke about the phasing out proposal on the Adelaide radio on Tuesday morning, he said Australia needs to maintain its position in the world live export trade.

He replied to Labor’s claims about animal welfare, citing the work he did as agriculture minister to “clean up” it.

“There is no justification for this. When I was minister of agriculture in 2018 I said I would reform the sector, based on science, practice and culture … we did that, “he told 5AA.

“The work is saying they want to phase out exports based on animal welfare signs … Now we can measure (welfare) … (so) it’s ridiculous.”

Australia has introduced a method to measure each animal’s trousers per minute while traveling overseas and has a mortality rate of less than 1%.

He warned that countries that rely on Australia’s live sheep trade would look elsewhere instead, with other countries unlikely to attach such importance to animal welfare.

“This is a retrograde step. We are actually saying that we value the welfare of a sheep in Australia more than any other country, ”said Littleproud.

Littleproud said that while it would not have a direct impact on lamb prices in Australia, Australian taxpayers could end up paying a multi-billion dollar clearing bill.

Labor’s decision in 2011 to ban the export of live cattle to Indonesia resulted in a $ 2 billion compensation that the government paid to farmers and other exporting workers following a judicial proceeding.

Mr. Littleproud said Senator Watt had said the door would be “left open” for compensation for export workers.

“We do not know the dollar amount that farmers could compensate for taking this market away. It’s just costing taxpayers billions of dollars when we could make billions of dollars, ”she said.

“It just doesn’t make sense.”

On Monday, Senator Watt said he had made no model for the phasing out proposal – because there were still no moves to start the consultation process – a move Littleproud called “reckless”.

Senator Watt ruled out the extension of the phasing out of the export of live animals to livestock.

Originally published as ‘Stupid idea’: international leader David Littleproud fires a warning shot