Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Live Sheep Exports to Bahrain

The resumption of live sheep exports to Bahrain after last year’s debacle is completely inappropriate and makes no economic sense. Exports to Bahrain were suspended in August 2012, and its live shipments were replaced with about 10,000 tonnes of chilled meat. So why go backwards when we are now adding value to our exports and getting better animal welfare outcomes.

Middle Eastern consumers are turning to boxed meat and higher value products. With jobs disappearing in manufacturing the transition from live export to a chilled meat trade should more than ever be a priority.

Barnaby Joyce has stated that the live sheep trade is crucial to the Western Australian economy but World Society for the Protection of Animals research highlights a value added advantage of $7-12 associated with domestic processing rather than exporting live animals.
It is apparent the Liberal Government is not interested in animal welfare and is unwilling to take action no matter how badly animals are treated. Minister Joyce’s smug and arrogant dismissal of complaints concerning animal welfare shows he is not an appropriate Minister to safeguard animal welfare. Perhaps he doesn’t realise he has that job. Responsibility for animal welfare should be taken off him and given to a more enlightened Minister.