THE Australian Livestock Exporters' Council (ALEC) would like to acknowledge the recent comment piece by Steve Martin MLC (Farm Weekly, August 19).
Mr Martin is correct in noting the reforms of the live export industry and its importance to WA producers, providing food security for our international neighbours and how heavily regulated the industry is.
In my time as ALEC chief executive officer, I have approached social licence accepting that not all minds can be changed through fact and reason, particularly activists and those that are strongly and vocally opposed to the live export trade (I refer to a letter from Anne Leeson, Farm Weekly, September 2, in response to Mr Martin's comment piece).
Australian live exporters are global leaders in animal welfare, ensuring high standards in markets that also improve the welfare for locally produced livestock.
Exporters invest significantly in training and education in market to ensure our livestock are handled correctly and appropriately until the point of slaughter, with an understanding and respect for our neighbours' cultural beliefs and way of life.
No industry is without fault, and exporters and importers continue to work together to quickly identify and rectify any issues that occur, and when necessary, cease supply to facilities and remove the livestock.
The exporters assist with the regulator's investigations and all this information is available to the public as part of the regulatory process.
I would encourage anyone with an interest or concern with the industry to look into the trade for themselves.
There are many resources available, including on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Meat & Livestock Australia, our Research and Development Corporation LiveCorp, Good Meat Australia, ALEC, and The Livestock Collective (TLC) websites.
TLC is a not-for-profit based in WA, passionate about educating people on not just the importance of live export, but the broader agriculture sector to our economy, employment, our producers, and food security both domestically and international.
TLC is undertaking an incredibly important role, ensuring the live export industry's is open and transparent to all, including politicians, media, producers, and the general public, and providing resources to help people obtain a better understanding of the trade.
My team and I are always happy to answer specific questions to those who are willing to have a conversation.
Our goal is not to change minds but to educate, using resources based on data, science, and facts about the current live export trade.