Farm groups call for state budget funds

Farm lobby groups have made a last minute pitch for more funding for port and rail infrastructure ahead of Thursday's state budget.


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The saying goes – there are none so blind as those who will not see and PGA President Rob Gilliam is a glowing example of those who will not see. In his desperate bid to persuade the general public that live export is such a good thing it must be moved to Kwinana, he blames declining port standards at Fremantle as an excuse for opponents to slam the trade. There are crucial animal welfare issues that need to be addressed before any move of the live animal export trade to Kwinana or James Point. The suggestion that moving from Fremantle would somehow remove the barrier to achieving “even higher welfare standards and shipping success rates” comes from the export industry’s total self interest. The relocation would bring an economic and PR benefit to exporters but not to animal welfare. The industry is acutely aware that the WA community opposes live export and would like to see it stopped. It is in the live exporters’ interest to have live export out of sight and then hopefully, out of mind. The transfer of the trade to Kwinana and/or James Point would mean that the live animal export trade would effectively operate without the public awareness it attracts on Leach Highway on their way to Fremantle. As it is, the farmers, exporters and drivers work without any official, independent monitoring and scrutiny of animal welfare from farm to saleyards to port. There have been plenty of validated reports with photographic and video evidence provided to Government and industry alike that there is a level of non compliance to Animal Welfare Legislation and Codes which is totally unacceptable. When the Animal Welfare Unit Inspectorate was fully staffed and operational, they were able to be present as a matter of course, or respond to calls of assistance. Now there is no staff to respond immediately or otherwise. There is no government Inspectorate present at any time – at the farm, in transports, at saleyards or the port to prevent potential suffering and cruelty. In essence, there is little oversight of either the individuals involved, or the livestock industry as a whole. Those within the livestock industry must observe the provisions of the State Animal Welfare Legislation and Transport Codes. Despite their insistence that the industry has high standards, the transporters and exporters cannot guarantee that everyone fulfils their legislative duty of care to animals. Nor can the government. Those who breach Animal Welfare Legislation are rarely caught because since the government eliminated the Animal Welfare Unit Inspectorate, there are no animal welfare inspectors to enforce and when necessary, prosecute the offenders. When animal welfare and prevention of cruelty to animals become a priority to the Government and a demonstrated commitment from the exporters, perhaps then the move might be considered in a more positive light.

Good on you Robert. Shipping success rates? What ever does that mean? Hang on...I know. It means the thousands upon thousands of DEAD animals who die from painful diseases in miserable conditions aboard miserable rusting buckets of bolts enroute to a hell hole in cruel Middle East. The industry plan was always to totally ignore the suffering and dying on board and they do it by calling them "mortalities" then further negating their suffering by reducing their deaths to mere percentages". The trade can make any crappola up it likes but the public knows the truth. Live export is cruel. It serves the greedy and selfish whilst decimating towns and businesses. Most importantly it forces animals to suffer which is totally unnecessary and unacceptable.

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