National Farmers' Federation

Farmers gutted by live sheep ban passing parliament

In a devastating blow to farming communities, Parliament tonight passed legislation to end the live sheep trade, disregarding proper process, extensive evidence and pleas from farmers across Australia.

NFF President David Jochinke said the decision had been met with widespread dismay from farmers who had invested into significant reforms for the trade, resulting in world-leading animal welfare outcomes.

“Farming communities have been sold out for political gain, and they’re gutted,” Mr Jochinke explained.

“The Government vowed to kill off the jobs of farmers, shearers and truckies in WA. Credit to them, they’ve executed that job with ruthless efficiency. 

“Whether it was fixing the outcome of the Independent Panel or the House Inquiry, or backflipping on senate scrutiny and guillotining debate – the

Government pulled out every trick to silence those affected.

“They didn’t want to risk exposing the utter lack of scientific evidence, or acknowledge the infuriated outcry that has followed this ill-informed, vote grabbing policy.

“The facts are that unless this ban is reversed, farming communities, animals and Australia’s strategic trade partnerships will all suffer.

“We now have a dangerously unscientific precedent that will be celebrated tonight by groups who want to shut down Australian livestock production. This isn’t just about live sheep. This government has just told every farmer in Australia to sleep with one eye open.

Mr Jochinke paid homage to the Western Australian communities who are continuing to ramp up their fight for the trade to stay.

“These communities will wake up tomorrow with a lot to digest and some tough business decisions to make.

“Sadly, there isn’t a cent of federal support in the field and no details for how and when this will be rolled out.

“WA communities should be proud of their powerful collective efforts to push back on this.

“They have my commitment that the NFF will continue to stand with them.”