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Release of independent report on live sheep exports ban demanded by Nationals leader and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud

David Littleproud urges Labor to release the Independent Panel Report on the live sheep exports ban for transparency. He criticises Minister Watt's decision based on animal activists' desires and the negative impact on farmers.

By news@gippsland - 25th October 2023 - Back to News

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is calling on Labor to release the findings of an Independent Panel Report into the ban of live sheep exports. Mr Littleproud said Labor must be transparent about the report, which Agriculture Minister Murray Watt is due to receive today. It comes after a live sheep export phase out panel travelled around Western Australia but failed to properly consult with the industry.

Labor jeopardises 3,000 jobs and an $85 million industry. Minister Watt should release the report instead of avoiding farmers according to David Littleproud

Labor jeopardises 3,000 jobs and an $85 million industry. Minister Watt should release the report instead of avoiding farmers according to David Littleproud

Littleproud urges release of report

Mr Littleproud said, "Minister Watt should have the courage of his convictions and immediately release the scientific and economic modelling behind his decision. Labor is destroying the livelihoods of 3000 people who work in the trade and an industry worth $85 million. Minister Watt didn't have the courage to travel with the panel and look farmers in the eye himself to say he was stopping the trade - so the least he can do is release the report."

Mr Littleproud added he was dismayed that the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) admitted in Senate Estimates, it hadn't done any work on the ban's impact on sheep prices. This is despite ABARES advising Minister Watt on the issue. "The trade has actually increased by 41 per cent since 2021/2022. But Minister Watt made decisions based on what animal activists wanted, rather than thorough and detailed advice."

"Farmers have lost confidence, with sheep prices plummeting. Minister Watt has turned his back on the live sheep industry. If Minister Watt is so confident in his decision and the science behind it, details about the Independent Panel Report must be released. A future Coalition government with The Nationals will ensure the live sheep export trade is saved. Unlike Labor, The Nationals support Australian farmers and their exports," he said.

Pictures from Agriculture Victoria Facebook page.


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