Australia: ‘WA Premier Colin Barnett signals shift away from live exports’

Posted on October 11, 2012


Today (11th October), an item was posted on titled ‘WA Premier Colin Barnett signals shift away from live exports’.

‘… LIVE animal exports will decline in coming years and in the meantime Australia should start sending carcasses overseas to avoid mistreatment of sheep and cattle, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says.

The fate of some 10,000 sheep in Pakistan hinges on an imminent court decision on whether to overturn a government-ordered cull on the back of health concerns that the local importer and Perth-based exporter insist are baseless.

Another 10,000 sheep from the same shipment have already been culled, many in a brutal fashion, with some even buried alive.

Mr Barnett described the Pakistan incident as “horrific”, noting there had been previous problems with Australian livestock in the South Asian nation.

“I would hope that maybe over the next 10-15 years, we can progressively transition the industry from live exports to chilled meat or carcass exports,” Mr Barnett told ABC radio today.

“I would hope that we would see the animals killed here and maybe exported, perhaps not as processed meat but maybe as whole carcasses or half carcasses.”

Overseas parties were investing in WA abattoirs but more was needed, he said.

While live exports were an important industry for the state, many in the community, “perhaps even a majority”, opposed it.

“But the simple reality is that if we don’t do it, it will simply come from a country with a lower standard.”

Mr Barnett said he and agriculture minister Terry Redman were “working on changing the nature of trade with Gulf states”, where people were changing the way they bought meat.

“Live animal exports over time – and I’m talking about a considerable period of time – in my view will decline because the countries where those live animals go to, particularly the Gulf states, north Africa, they’re becoming very urban, far more sophisticated, far more Western-like.

“People doing their weekly shopping don’t go out and buy a live animal: they go into a supermarket and buy packaged meat.’ …’

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