Press Release

Tim_d_arcy

RSPCA PLANS ARE TERMINAL FOR SHEEP - PGA

2009-08-05

It is time the RSPCA and other animal rights groups recognised that any further reduction in the status of Australia’s sheep flock could prove terminal for the industry, PGA Meat and Livestock Chairman Tim D’Arcy said today.

 

“The RSPCA is once again attacking live animal exports, this time from the standpoint that sheep producers may have nothing to lose if they lose the trade.”

 

“But in commissioning ACIL Tasman to support a case for phasing out live sheep exports they are now arguing that other farming enterprises might fill the gap.”

 

“The report was commissioned on an emotional basis and lacks the basic fact that the industry has spent millions of dollars in scientifically approaching the animal welfare issue of live sheep transport and science proves that the results have justified the investment.”

 

“The anti–live export campaign that the RSPCA are running totally disregards the animal food production industry in Australia because processors have an inability to process the total output of sheep in Western Australia.”

 

“Too bad that we would lose all of the world class infrastructures and systems we have developed in WA and in the ports of our customers to achieve near-perfect standards of animal welfare.”

 

“And despite new claims that meat processors in Australia might fill the gap, these processors are still unable to get enough labour to manage the stock they already handle.”

 

Mr D’Arcy said the RSPCA had a serious philosophical problem in being unable to accept that live animal exports were now a safe, integral component of Australia’s total animal production industry.

 

“Stable prices for live export sheep help to balance low wool returns and to justify the retention of breeding ewes for both wool and prime lamb production.  Live exports are also a vital “release valve” for the industry in times of drought and emergency.”

 

“Without live cattle exports from northern WA, there would be no cattle industry in these regions because there are no meat processing facilities there and once again, the shipping system for northern cattle is integrally linked to the southern sheep shipping infrastructures.”

 

Mr D’Arcy said the RSPCA could no longer justify its opposition to live shipping.  “The national RSPCA cannot accept that WA is now setting the highest world standards in animal welfare,” he said.

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