CATTLE producers have rejected Labor’s call for a ban on live sheep exports describing it as reckless and ill-informed.
Cattle Council president Howard Smith said the industry needed to continue because of the role it plays in supporting jobs and economic development in regional Australia, and in feeding hundreds of thousands of people abroad.
"Time and time again we see producers thrown under the bus by the negligence of others and this has got to stop," Mr Smith said.
"Cattle Council will continue to advocate for improvements to welfare outcomes for livestock exported from Australia, a knee jerk reaction is not the answer."
Mr Smith said the inhumane treatment of animals was unacceptable to cattle producers and Cattle Council supported harsh penalties applying to those who are found to be in deliberate breach of standards and regulations.
He said Cattle Council supports Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull's statement that Labor's pledge was a 'reckless and emotional decision with no scientific basis'.
Cattle Council was continuing to work alongside Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, his department and industry to ensure that sound scientific evidence was used to inform policies and regulation, he said.
"Cattle Council regards the Australian livestock export trade as an economically significant alternative market to domestic processing, creating essential market diversity and competition for Australian cattle producers,” Mr Smith said.
“This trade continues to support individuals, families and their communities right across Australia.”
“As an industry we are conscious that we must continue to improve the way we operate and recognise that good animal welfare practices are crucial for the future of our industry."