Industry doubts live exports ban
A PROPOSAL to ban all live cattle exports has met with a mixed reaction from those in the industry on the Northern Rivers.
Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin raised the idea of the ban, saying she will submit a private member’s bill on the issue when the Parliament resumes.
“It’s something that was on the books in the last Parliament,” she said.
“I think we should examine live exports, with a view to phasing it out.
“We have to have a look at the implications.
“One of the reasons is that, for humane reasons, we shouldn’t live export.
“It also impacts on ourdomestic market – we should value-add here and try to process here.
“But this is clearly anissue which needs debating. As an elected representative, that is my duty.
“I’m not frightened of adebate, and this might not even go anywhere.”
Lismore livestock auctioneer Glenn Weir said he hadn’t heard too much about Ms Saffin’s proposal.
“This is something that wouldn’t have as much of an impact here as it would in northern Queensland,” he said.
“That’s where the bulk of the cattle are exported from.
“But down the track, banning live cattle exports would have an impact on our region.
“The cattle that would normally be exported would end up on the domestic market.
“It’s basically a supply and demand issue.
“Having more cattle on the domestic market would definitely affect prices.
“Ideally it would be good if all the beef could be processed here. But a lot of countries prefer to process their own cattle. That’s got to do with religious beliefs.
“So if they can’t buy live cattle from Australia, they will start to look somewhere else.
“Then that’s a market we would lose.
“Once they’re gone, they’re hard to get back.”
Gary Burridge, the chief executive of the Northern Co-operative Meat Company at Casino, said completely banning live cattle exports was probably unrealistic.
“I don’t think you can ban them altogether,” he said. “There’s always going to be a need.
“Obviously we’re not supportive of live exports, but in some geographical areas of Australia they are needed.”
However, Mr Burridge would not comment on Ms Saffin’s private member’s bill.
“I would rather stay out of the political debate,” he said.