I support and congratulate Western Australia’s Opposition Leader, Mark McGowan, for his commitment to promoting, through consultation with the live export industry, a chilled meat trade as an animal welfare measure if elected as Premier on March 9.
Mr McGowan said on Sunday, January 27 when officially launching WA Labor's campaign that:
“You have to take all the steps you can to create more jobs in Australia, so that's why I'm talking more about processing meat in Australia as opposed to overseas”.
"What the state can do is work with proponents who might want to set up meatworks and help them secure labour to do so”.
The live export trade is not only a failure of ethics but a failure of economics. We should move towards a viable alternative – a local chilled meat export industry that protects and creates more Australian rural jobs, results in higher profitability through value added opportunities and addresses the public’s welfare concerns.
In 2011 the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU), estimated that some 3,500 direct employment meat processing jobs have been lost because of the Australian live animal trade. World Society for the Protection of Animals research indicates that the direct and indirect jobs created by growing the domestic meat processing industry would in fact exceed those that would be lost from the live export trade.
Transitioning away from live exports and into domestic processing would be better for both animal welfare and for Australian jobs. I commend Mr McGowan for his policy vision.