Agents voice producers' export concerns

30 Mar, 2012 05:00 AM
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PETER Boyle, York, was forced to hold onto his wethers, with added costs, for an extra six weeks while the ESCAS was implemented into some Middle Eastern markets.
PETER Boyle, York, was forced to hold onto his wethers, with added costs, for an extra six weeks while the ESCAS was implemented into some Middle Eastern markets.

IT is not only exporters who are counting the costs for the implementation for the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS).

Farmers are being forced to hold onto their export sheep for longer than expected due to the delays in shipping as live exporters work to get the ESCAS implemented into the Middle East and resume the trade.

Some farmers have calculated the cost as being between 30 and 50 cents per sheep per day as they wait for a shipment.

Landmark livestock manager Leon Giglia said there was a lot of concern among primary producers about the continuation of the trade.

"Although the market is a little back in the last month that is all market pressures and market forces, and give it time it will get back to the level of where it was," Mr Giglia said.

"There has been a build up and a backlog of export sheep after no shipments for nearly a month and once again it is the market forces and the market pressures.

"There is constant concern regarding live export, and that is not directed at the live exporters, that is directed at the outside influences which have always been a concern since the actions that took place back in June last year."

Elders livestock and wool manager Paul Mahony said there were still exporters buying but the sheep were unable to be delivered until the government signs off on the ESCAS requirements, which results in farmers having to hold onto their stock for longer.

"I think what we are seeing is a disruption to the industry that we all thought there would be," Mr Mahony said.

"But the work going into the ESCAS is absolutely fantastic by the live exporters."

Primaries livestock manager Peter Sheridan said sheep export numbers had built up slightly due to no shipments leaving WA for the last month.

Mr Sheridan said a number of farmers were concerned about what the future holds for the live sheep export industry.

"The trade has got to be reinstated and uninterrupted," Mr Sheridan said.

"We can't afford to have it stopped, it needs to be reinstated."

Emanuel Exports livestock manager Mike Curnick said stock numbers were rapidly building up on WA farms and it could lead to other animal welfare issues.

"As we approach another lambing season it could potentially lead to new animal welfare issues arising if stock cannot be moved," Mr Curnick said.

"Many in the industry are already feeling the pinch as prices start to decline, (already by 20 per cent) and work dries up.

"These people include truck drivers, stock agents, feedlot employees and of course farmers.

"Local abattoirs, long touted as the alternative, are already booked up for the next three to four weeks and local sheep prices have also dropped."

Mr Curnick said all this was happening without having an extra 1.7 million export sheep to kill, the majority of which are unsuitable for the local trade.

"Many growers I speak to see this as the end of the sheep flock in WA," he said.

"And while hoping this does not occur they are very nervous.

"This decision was made by the Federal Minister many months ago with very little consultation with industry, and any industry feedback ignored."

"It is not unrealistic to see Australia itself importing meat from other countries in years to come if we don't have a competitive balance of local and overseas markets."

"This will gauge public opinion when meat becomes too expensive for many working Australian families."

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READER COMMENTS

Hungry?
30/03/2012 6:42:49 AM, on Farm Weekly

Good article Tyson. Factual and to the point. It is high time Australia woke up to the damage caused by extremist actions both now and into the future. The majority of Australians do care for animal welfare but the overriding majority are well and truely against extremism! What ever happens to the producer through this extreme activism will ultimately effect all Australians.
Nicky
4/04/2012 10:11:57 PM, on Farm Weekly

The usual claptrap from an unbalanced reporter. Are we supposed to care that these people will have to look after and feed their animals because they can't send them off to certain torture? As for the ESCAS, we all know that it is meaningless and will not improve a single thing for even one animal subjected to this evil animal trafficking. 84% of decent, hardworking Australians are deeplt, deeply ashamed of everyone involved in this, and we are sick of the whiningt of these people who have their hands out permanently for taxpayers' dollars.

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