'Immense relief' on live sheep ban threat

'Immense relief' on live sheep ban threat

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Agricultural Minister David Littleproud has always maintained the Coalition's policy was the keep the live sheep trade open.

Agricultural Minister David Littleproud has always maintained the Coalition's policy was the keep the live sheep trade open.

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Sheep producers across Australia feel relief after federal election delivers shock result.

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Relief has swept across Australia's sheep industry, particularly in Western Australia following the shock election result on Saturday night.

With Labor having pledged to phase out the live sheep trade if elected, sheep industry leaders have been quick to welcome the return of the Morrison Government.

Sheep Collective member and producer Stephen Bolt, Corrigan, WA, said WA sheep producers and associated industries were feeling a sense of immense relief.

"The Coalition government campaigned with strong support from the live export trade and this now provides us with an opportunity to grow the WA flock," he said.

"There has been extensive work by the sheep industry in WA to demonstrate that we are able to safely continue the trade to our highly valued customers in the Middle East.

"As a world leader in live export welfare standards must continue to improve whilst providing the general public with open and transparent facts of our industry."

The Sheep Collective is a collaboration of exporters, importers, industry bodies and producers who campaigned hard for the future of the live trade and Mr Bolt said they were keen to continue their work post-election.

"I look forward to the continuation of the open and transparent sheep industry supply chain that the Sheep Collective has provided," Mr Bolt said.

"The Sheep Collective has filled an important role in providing the facts and we look forward to continuing on a strong educational role fore the sheep and cattle live export industries."

Yet a cloud still lingers over the industry with Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud yet to release the findings from a heat stress report.

Two weeks ago, in a statement to Australian Community Media while visiting a carbon neutral winery in NSW, Labor's Agriculture spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon said that while the heat stress report was back in, it hadn't been released by the government.

Related readingFarming groups vow to fight as Fitzgibbon insults sheep producers

"David Littleproud wants to kick the report to the other side of the election because he knows that heat stress report is going to be the end of the trade," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"In other words, he doesn't want to concede that publicly prior to the election. In fact, he might just be happy to leave it to me after the election."

Emanuel Exports' veterinarian Holly Ludeman, who is also a member of the Sheep Collective, said when it comes to heat stress, the success of what is being done in the shoulder period had to be taken into account.

"We need time. Rushed regulation is not sensible regulation," Ms Ludeman said.

"The points in the Moss Review need to be taken very seriously about the capability of the regulator and the independent observer reports need to be used as well as the heat stress review.

"The heat stress review may have a scientific point of view, but the regulator then needs to balance up the commercial and welfare ramifications and provide balance so that the industry can continue.

"I can only hope that the minister works with industry to make a sensible decision and have it sensibly regulated."

- With Mike Foley

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