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Election 2019: Farmers seek a partnership approach to animal welfare

30 April 2019

Ensuring animals are treated humanely is a priority concern for Australian farmers, and this election the National Farmers' Federation is calling for the next federal government to work in partnership with industry to deliver continued welfare improvements.

Earlier today, Labor's agriculture spokesperson, Joel Fitzgibbon released a six-point plan for animal welfare.

The National Farmers' Federation Chief Executive Officer Tony Mahar said the NFF and its members stood ready to engage with Labor on the finer details of the policy, should they form Government.

"The NFF sees an important role for the Commonwealth in coordinating national animal welfare policy and regulation, as well as research and development. The policy announced today provides for such a role and we welcome that," Mr Mahar said.

Mr Mahar said the NFF was calling for an incoming government to work with industry, and to recognise the existing standards and guidelines process as the mechanism for setting animal welfare standards in Australia.

"We also ask for recognition of the importance of industry-led quality assurance initiatives, and the significant levy-payer investment in R&D that underpins welfare improvements.

"As a sector the onus is on us to develop ways of demonstrating our integrity – but it must be industry that sets these standards, based on and informed by science.

"We look forward to working with an incoming government to deliver the continued improvement in animal welfare that Australians rightly expect."

Labor's plan flags a ban on the northern summer live sheep trade to the Middle East – something that industry voluntarily committed to last year, and which the Government legislated in March.

"The NFF remains committed to a sustainable live export trade that meets the animal welfare expectations of farmers and the community," Mr Mahar said.

Explore our Agriculture: Growing Australian election priorities at farmers.org.au.

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
0408 448 250

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