Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is hitting back at the Pastoralists and Graziers Association, which is using its freedom of information request to shine a spotlight on Mr Littleproud’sd dealings with animal rights groups.
PGA president Tony Seabrook called for Mr Littleproud to publish all meetings and correspondence relating to live export of sheep between himself and his office and any third party between March 12 and August 20 in 2018.
“I’ve had far more meetings and interactions with farm groups than with animal welfare groups as the facts show,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The Western Australian PGA would be best to focus their efforts and their members’ money on trying to convince Labor not to ban the live export trade.”
Last year Mr Littleproud commissioned reviews into the live sheep trade after the scandal over animals suffering onboard the Awassi Express vessel and committed to develop rigorous new regulations requiring an independent observer on shipments, decreased stocking rates and other measures.
Mr Littleproud’s meeting diary records 25 meetings with live export industry representatives, and three meetings with Animals Australia and two meetings with the RSPCA between March 12 and August 20, 2018.
The industry has expressed concerned about the impact of new regulations on its commercial viability.
Previously, PGA president Tony Seabrook called on Mr Littleproud to release details of his contact with animal rights gorups in the interest of transparency.
“The Western Australian sheep industry, and the Australian public deserve to know the level of influence animal activist lobby groups are having on our political policy framework, especially when it comes to the development of the latest Heat Stress Regulatory Assessment regulations, due to be implemented in the next few months,” said PGA president Tony Seabrook.
"The PGA believes that there should be fair and open transparency into how many times animal activist groups have met with the minister’s office.”
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