THE live export debate has taken an ugly turn with individual producers now being targeted.
At least two producers so far have received a bizarre letter in the mail labelling live export as an "obscene industry".
Arriving in a handwritten, plain envelope, the letter contained a hand-drawn image of sheep with their throats cut and is claimed to be sent "on behalf of the thousands of helpless creatures sent off to be brutally slaughtered in callous and cruel societies".
The anonymous letter appeared to have a religious agenda and had been photocopied.
It was received by Mingenew cattle and sheep producers Paul and Kellie Starick, who also own a livestock transport company.
Ms Starick said it wasn't clear who sent the letter, with the only clue being the 6000 Perth postcode on the postage stamp on the envelope.
"It really didn't bother us too much, if people want to do a stupid thing like that then that's their choice," Ms Starick said.
"If they were expecting us to react then they would have been very disappointed.
"They are only damaging themselves."
Ms Starick said they may have been targeted due to their involvement in the livestock transport industry but didn't pay too much attention to it.
Keysbrook cattle producer Bruce Campbell said his 95-year-old mother also received the letter in her mail.
It was addressed to Ms Campbell and her late husband at their North Dandalup residence and was opened by Bruce.
He believed it was a gutless and cowardly act that seemed to personally target people by handwriting the address.
"The letter basically makes out that farmers are evil," Mr Campbell said.
"Sending something in the mail like that is pretty ordinary and in bad taste.
"We love our cattle and (seeing livestock being harmed) is the last thing we would want."
Both producers said they hadn't reported it to the police.
WA Police media department spokesperson Sergeant Gerry Cassidy said even though the letter was unpleasant, it wasn't threatening and an offence wasn't committed in sending it.
"It's unfortunately unpleasant and if people are worried, it's best to take it to their local police station to discuss it," Sergeant Cassidy said.
Pastoralists and Graziers Association media and communications director Sheldon Mumby said every time the live export debate flared up after incidences such as the ABC Four Corners episode, the organisation usually received up to 10 anti-live export emails a day.
He said PGA had received a similar letter to the Staricks and Campbells and said the best action was no action, despite this latest incident going a step further past industry groups and targeting individuals.
"It's just best not to engage with these sorts of people as there is no ability to have a rational debate," Mr Mumby said.
"These people haven't been appointed by the animals, they have been self-appointed and have no right to target those engaged with a legal and ethical trade."
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