Adam is supportive of live animal exports so long as the strict Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock are being met. It is also key that there is transparent and rigorous compliance monitoring, regulation and reporting to demonstrate that these standards are being met.
This position is consistent with the recommendations from the Moss Review into Live Exports Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in Regulation of Live Animal Exports, September 2018.
There are only limited live exports of animals from the New England (high value dairy and wagyu cattle), however it is a significant agricultural activity for Australia more widely (approximately 10% of export value). Live sheep exports have already been halted from Western Australia in the northern hemisphere summer months.
This has been an emotional, controversial and complex issue in recent years. A diverse range of parliamentarians and parties have struggled with the issues. It is widely acknowledged that some of the recent crises, exemplified by the distressing footage taken on the Awassi Express, were contributed to by the discontinuation of the Australian Government’s Animal Welfare Strategy and closure of the Animal Welfare Branch. These changes occurred during MP Barnaby Joyce’s tenure as Minister for Agriculture (December, 2013). The National Party voted with Labor in 2012 to halt the live export trade after the animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs became public knowledge. In July 2016, the then Minister for Agriculture, Peter McGauran, announced a ban on live cattle exports to Egypt. More recently, Coalition MP Sussan Ley and Labor MP Josh Wilson have expressed strong views to ban live animal exports.
More generally, the New England Policy Platform identifies the opportunity to pursue value-added and high-value agricultural products and services, which the New England is already doing with specialist live animal exports for dairy and wagyu cattle.