There is a clear and viable alternative to live export. Focusing on a chilled and frozen meat trade and processing animals in Australia under our animal welfare conditions will protect farmers, the economy, jobs and of course animals.

It is vital that an alternative is beneficial not just to animals, but to the welfare and sustainability of farmers and their farms.


We commissioned ACIL Tasman and Sapere Research, two highly respected Australian economic consultancies, to consider the economic realities of the live sheep and cattle trade. We asked them to analyse the costs and benefits of increasing the amount of Australian cattle and sheep processed domestically that would otherwise be exported live.


On the basis of ACIL Tasman's work we think it is possible to significantly improve the welfare of Australian sheep and cattle, advance the economic interests of sheep and northern cattle producers and grow domestic processing and associated regional job opportunities - a win-win outcome for our animals and farmers.


Some of the benefits in transitioning to a chilled and frozen meat trade are:

  • It is worth 20% more to the WA economy to process sheep there rather than send them live
  • The under-utilisation of abattoirs in WA would be rectified and thousands of jobs would be created
  • If Northern cattle farmers had access to a northern abattoir, they could increase their pre-tax earnings by 245%
  • The same abattoir could contribute $204 million to the economy each year and create 1300 jobs, having huge flow on benefits to the community
  • There would be a huge reduction in risk to farmers when markets close or are disrupted by inevitable disasters and exposure of cruelty
  • The animals would be processed in a more humane way, under Australian law


What needs to be done:

As easy first steps, the government should:

  • Commit to ending market distortions that favour the live animal trade over the meat export trade
  • Commit to growing current meat export markets and develop new ones - thus growing domestic processing and creating more employment
  • Commit to developing policy settings that encourage potential investors in meat processing facilities.
  • Commit to assisting livestock producers to help them transition away from the production of animals for the live trade towards animals suitable for domestic processing


We believe this to be in line with existing responsibilities of government