Grain Producers SA stands against sheep export ban

AGAINST THE BAN: The Australian sheep market has been drastically impacted by the live sheep ban.

GRAIN Producers SA (GPSA) has strongly opposed the recent decision by the Federal Government to phase out live sheep exports by sea.

The decision was made after a $107m funding package was allocated to the Australian sheep industry by Federal Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt.

Mr Watt said during the announcement the funding package would help to “strengthen supply chains, develop market opportunities and improve animal welfare”.

Livestock SA president Joe Keynes said the policy disregarded the significant impacts on livestock producers across the nation.

GPSA Chair John Gladigau said the Federal Government’s decision would have long-term consequences for the whole agriculture sector, including the South Australian grain industry.

“This tone-deaf decision by the Federal Government is going to impact not only the livestock industry but also the grain industry which provides feed,” Mr Gladigau said.

“Many South Australian grain producers also run livestock and the concern is that the phase out of live sheep exports will have repercussions for every single farmer as Western Australian sheep producers look for alternative markets.

“The decision to shut an essential sheep market, renowned for its world-leading animal welfare standards, disregards the crucial role live exports play in providing flexibility to the industry during periods of drought and adjustment.”

Mr Gladigau said the GPSA recognised the reforms and contemporary practices which were implemented by the livestock industry, as he shared Livestock SA’s concern for the decision and the funding package.

“The meager transition package of $107 million over five years falls woefully short of addressing the long-term detrimental impacts on the sheep industry and the communities it sustains,” he said.

“This decision, coupled with a consultation process that lacked sincerity in finding commercial solutions, further exacerbates the disconnect between the Government’s rhetoric and the reality faced by agricultural industries.”

Mr Gladigau said there needed to be genuine collaboration between the government and the sheep industry to find a sustainable path forward.

“We are urging the Government to cease being swayed by selective activist agendas and instead engage constructively with stakeholders who have a vested interest in the prosperity of Australian

agriculture,” he said.

“Just as with the Biosecurity Protection Levy, this policy is deeply flawed and indicative of the federal government’s failure to comprehend the needs of the livestock and broader agriculture industries.

“GPSA stands in solidarity with Livestock SA and calls for a more inclusive approach that prioritises the well-being of producers and the resilience of rural communities.”

The ban is set to come into effect on May 1, 2028.