PHASING out live sheep exports would take the competition out of the market and affect the bottomline of the industry.
That is according to WAFarmers livestock president Geoff Pearson, who labelled the Labor Government's announcement as concerning.
He had the comment on the back of Labor confirming it would resurrect the policy it took to the last election and phase out live sheep exports if it won power at the Federal election on Saturday, May 21.
Mr Pearson questioned the timing of the announcement - given it was made just three weeks prior to the nation going to the polls.
He said it was disappointing as the industry had invested significant time and money into the regulation of live animal exports.
"Why did we go and invest all of this money, time and effort into improving something only to have it thrown back into our faces and taken away from us anyway?, he asked.
"Is it just preaching to the minority to get votes?
"The fact this has been decided without any consultation with industry is concerning and if it is the minority parties who are driving this, then that is concerning in itself."
Mr Pearson said the livestock industry needed competition in the market and could not rely on one market sector.
He labelled live export as a "very handy tool", particularly in an export driven State like WA.
"In WA we can shift large amounts of livestock in a short amount of time for whatever reason.
"It could be due to seasonal conditions, water or feed shortages, or if things are starting to become suppressed.
"You can turn the tap on, bring the ships in and ship large numbers."
Mr Pearson added that there would be a flow-on-effect into the saleyards and abattoirs.
He said this would be seen in an oversupply of livestock and decreased prices.
"A false economy could be put into the market rapidly because there would be an oversupply of sheep," Mr Pearson said,
"This would result in everything going into turmoil."
Mr Pearson labelled the government's lack of consultation with industry as concerning.
He said it was important that those people who work in live export and know how the industry works were involved in decision-making processes.
"The last thing you want is a repeat of the $600 million class action in 2011 - does the government want to put itself in that position again?
"If this isn't thought through properly then it is the taxpayers who are going to cop it and have to foot the bill."
Mr Pearson said that putting a stop to live export in Australia would not put an end to the industry as a whole.
Instead he said other countries would pick up the market and they may not deliver as good animal welfare outcomes.
"The Labor government feels as if it is their duty to keep animal welfare going rightly in Australia - what about the rest of the world?
"Are they going to police that as well?
"There will be worse outcomes not only in the welfare of the animals, but also the quality on and off the ships, of the stockpersons and everything that joins itself to the live export industry - it will all go downhill.
"And if sheep are in focus at the moment, it certainly will have implications on the cattle trade next."
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