The national farmers lobby group has hit out at Labor's plan to phase out live sheep exports, saying the party isn't prepared to be informed about the sector's monumental improvements and the importance of the industry to producers.
National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson said Labor continues to be beholden to a small, uninformed minority made up of radicals who invade farms and steal animals.
Ms Simson said Australia's live sheep exports needed to fundamentally improve and it had.
"Industry initiatives, regulatory reviews and research have all contributed to improved animal welfare outcomes. Shipments of sheep to the Middle East have been stopped by regulation during the hottest periods of the northern hemisphere summer," she said.
"Disappointingly, instead of equipping themselves with the facts and listening and working with farmers and industry, Labor has copied and pasted their reckless policy from 2019 without any consideration for the 2022 context."
The policy was a massive blow to the farmers and the communities who rely on sheep exports, NFF said.
"It sends a shiver down the spine of all farmers about the precedent it sets. If live sheep exports can be so easily be written off, what's next?" Ms Simson said.
Australian farmers operated pursuant to world-leading animal welfare standards and through the research and development levy system, had invested tens of millions of dollars in innovation and science to continually improve animal welfare outcomes, NFF said.
Ms Simson said this was Labor's second only announcement related to agriculture in the campaign. The first was a decision to all but do away with the coveted Ag Visa, announced in a similarly sneaky manner.
For all the big news in beef, sign up below to receive our Red Meat newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.