Media Release

Joyce talks live exports

31 October 2013

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today affirmed his commitment to a strong, profitable, humane and well regulated livestock export sector.

Speaking at the opening of the Australian Live Animal Conference, LIVEXchange 2013, in Townsville, Minister Joyce said it was time to recognise livestock exports as a legitimate trade.

“We all need to be realistic about the fact that livestock are raised for food,” Minister Joyce said.

“There are some groups and indeed some politicians who want to end the trade. Those people are entitled to that view. It is not my view, nor is it the government’s view. I will not be swayed by people who want to ban live exports.

“The industry does have to manage the unique challenges of ensuring appropriate animal handling and welfare practices from paddock to plate.

“We have a regulatory system to deal with issues when they arise. That said, no system is perfect and this industry needs to continue to manage the risks that occur when you move livestock across borders.

“The current regulation of livestock exports is designed to minimise the risk. That’s why I’m confident that we do not need to establish an Inspector General of Animal Welfare. The Inspector General was a classic example of layer upon layer of bureaucracy without any practical outcome.

“The livestock export regulator was already, and remains, subject to appropriate oversight and review mechanisms. This is one bit of red tape we can do without,” Minister Joyce said.

“I’ve been heartened by comments made by the industry in recent weeks about its commitment to animal welfare, including the sanctioning of exporters for non-compliance with the animal welfare standards.

“No one supports animal cruelty, least of all farmers and all those reliant on the trade. But equally no one wants to see our farmers, exporters and others involved in rural industries go under if there is no market for their livestock,” Minister Joyce said.

For more information on LIVEXchange, visit the website www.livexchangeconference2013.com.