WAFAMERS strongly supports an offshore solution in relation to the sheep aboard the Cormo Express and calls on the Federal Government to remain extremely vigilant in adhering to its own quarantine standards if it is to continue with its current push to accepting the live cargo back onto the nation’s shores.
It is vital that Australia’s high quarantine standards and international trading integrity are maintained and that industry has greater input.
Returning the sheep to Australia poses a real and perceived threat to both our quarantine standards and our future trading markets.
Australia prides itself on its clean green image and market confidence could be put in jeopardy if this image is muddied.
It is not our preferred option to have the sheep return but if the Federal Government follows through with its current plans then industry will not take liability for the decision of bringing them home, ongoing costs or a breakdown in the future, as this would be a Government decision not an industry decision.
The Federal Government must bear the full cost of this decision.
There are just too many unanswered questions at this stage.
Where and how would the sheep be handled and what would happen with the end product?
Up to this point the Federal Government has not given industry the opportunity to have valuable input into the decision making process and it is vital that the Government starts to listen to industry as it makes its final decision.
WAFarmers urges the Federal Government to begin full, open and transparent discussions with industry.
– Mike Norton
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