Letter campaign to save export industry

12 Jun, 2018 04:00 AM
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 Geoff and Michelle Gooding pose for a selfie on the family farm at Darkan where they operate a 70 per cent sheep and 30pc cropping program.The Goodings are one of a group of families that have undertaken a letter writing campaign to defend the live sheep trade.
Geoff and Michelle Gooding pose for a selfie on the family farm at Darkan where they operate a 70 per cent sheep and 30pc cropping program.The Goodings are one of a group of families that have undertaken a letter writing campaign to defend the live sheep trade.

BA GROUP of WA farmers have been conducting a letter campaign to preserve and defend the live export trade.

Michelle Gooding, Darkan, said members of her local farming group have been actively sending letters to both WA and Federal politicians to show support for the trade, which has been under threat from a "vocal minority".

They have since had feedback from many politicians to say they've received a significant number of emails from farmers in support of keeping the live export market.

The group was encouraging others, to also "take the time to send letters/emails and be the voice of reason in what can be such an emotive topic".

Ms Gooding said she was surprised to receive many replies to her letters which showed that her efforts were worthwhile.

The Goodings are fourth-generation farmers living in the heart of the "wool belt", where they operate a 70 per cent sheep and 30pc cropping enterprise.

Ms Gooding said the group didn't want to make excuses for the incident that occurred last year on the Awassi Express, or "accept in any way those appalling conditions faced by WA bred sheep, but rather we would like the opportunity for the livestock industry to continually improve its standards".

"We're concerned that if we don't stand up and be counted, that the flow-on impact to rural communities who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods will be immeasurable," Ms Gooding said.

"It is my belief that the current method chosen by politicians to listen to the vocal minority with no skin in the game (so to speak), should not be condoned.

"They are ignoring the voice of those directly affected.

"Many of us asked that when they were making their decisions they consider the impact these decisions would have on our families and our communities, and choose to support the agricultural industry, and with it, Australia's future".

Ms Gooding pleaded with politicians to allow the McCarthy Review recommendations to be implemented and that the industry be allowed to continue to improve its standards.

She said everyone needed to acknowledge the gains already made and the ones to come from the implementation of the McCarthy recommendations, for changes to both the Livestock Export and Maritime Shipping Regulations.

"Assist us in making those changes, instead of making it more difficult by taking away our markets and damaging our overseas credentials as being a reliable supplier of affordable, good quality, foodstuff," Ms Gooding said.

She has asked politicians to make their decisions based on facts without being swayed by "uninformed outpourings from a vocal minority who will never be content".

"If they get their wish, and export livestock trading from Australia ceases, then we believe that animal welfare standards will actually decline, as other countries with lower welfare standards than Australia will happily fill the gap."

For those wanting to become involved, a letter template and contact addresses are available by emailing fightforag@gmail.com

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READER COMMENTS

HADENOUGH
13/06/2018 5:29:54 PM, on Farm Weekly

How can any compassionate person breed for live export. What happened to these ship is not isolated. This happens all the time with the only difference this time being someone who was an employee was disgusted enough to document it. Fazul knew that what he was doing would be the end of his career but was moved to act. To see the end of live export would not affect the economy in the slightest. Live export is not a primary industry, when whaling was banned in 1978 it was a primary industry and the sky did not fall in. Profit vs Morality...the public says morality...not blood money.
Howard Green
13/06/2018 5:43:22 PM, on Farm Weekly

Dear Ms gooding, "The incident" was in fact photographic evidence collected over several trips. The vocal minority is in fact a large vocal majority of around 80%. The naturally occurring heat in the middle eastern summer is not controllable without air conditioning. The Australian Government is no longer to be trusted in the monitoring of the export ships. The operators of the ships are not to be trusted, period. Neither have earned trust in the past and by their present behavior trust in any future live transport will not be given. Live animal export is finished. Howard Green
Barker
18/06/2018 6:24:17 AM, on Farm Weekly

Seems that many farmers will try to defend the live export of their animals - despite the exposure of horrendous cruelty within this unethical industry. I find it hard to believe that anyone could ignore all this cruelty inflicted on the animals they have bred. Abuse of exported animals has been ongoing for decades and for the sake of these badly treated sheep and other exported animals - I want to see this cruel and greedy trade banned forever. Live export is a disgrace to our country.
Jo
23/06/2018 4:46:18 PM, on Farm Weekly

It seems that farmers like these people have tunnel vision. It has been shown by the Australian Vet Association, the McCarthy Review itself and many other reviews that you can't export sheep to the Middle East especially in the northern summer and actually have good animal welfare. What part of that do the Goodings not understand? The shame is not only what happens to the poor sheep but people clinging to this vile trade are bringing the reputation of all farmers into disrepute with their constant support of it. Live sheep exports are a blight on the farming sector of WA and should stop.
Jo
23/06/2018 4:46:53 PM, on Farm Weekly

Farmers like these people have tunnel vision. It has been shown by the Australian Vet Association, the McCarthy Review itself and many other reviews that you can't export sheep to the Middle East especially in the northern summer and actually have good animal welfare. What part of that do the Goodings not understand? The shame is not only what happens to the poor sheep but people clinging to this vile trade are bringing the reputation of all farmers into disrepute with their constant support of it. Live sheep exports are a blight on the farming sector of WA and should stop.

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