Public confidence in the live export trade has again been shaken; this time not by public footage of animal cruelty, but by the actions of the Abbott Government.
The live export sector is critical to Australias economy and the farm families and others who rely upon it for their livelihood. Therefore public confidence and acceptance of the sector is also critical.
Thats why the Prime Ministers decision to abolish the Australian Animals Welfare Advisory Committee is so disappointing. It risks further damage to public confidence in the live export system, and the long term sustainability of the sector.
This adds to previous decisions by the Abbott Government that pose a threat to Australias live export trade, particularly the abolition of the position of Inspector General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports, and preparations for a move to industry self-regulation.
As Minster I placed great value on the work of the AAWC and relied upon it for assistance in building public confidence in the live export sector.
The Governments unpredictable and inconsistent changes to live export policy should be of concern to the industry and community alike.