IN THE NEWS: On APR 10, 2018
Western Australia's Agriculture Minister has clashed with her federal counterpart after he ruled out a ban on live summer sheep exports, warning there would be unacceptable suffering.
Federal minister David Littleproud announced in Perth on Tuesday a review of the northern summer trade but he firmly ruled out a ban during the region's hottest months.
Western Australia's Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said she supported the review and was pleased Mr Littleproud had accepted there had been a series of gross failures.
"[But] without there being, for example, the introduction of refrigerated airconditioning, it's hard to see how this movement of sheep during those nine or 10 weeks of ultra high summer in the Gulf can be managed," she said on Tuesday.
"It is really important that this is not used as an opportunity to paper over the problem.
"I hope it will be a very genuine analysis."
Ms MacTiernan said she was concerned the inquiry would not be met with open minds.
"You would have thought that you would want every alternative available," she said.
"None of us are talking about banning the live export industry.
"But those areas, that time, where it has been shown over and over again that it appears shippers can't manage that without there being unacceptable levels of suffering and death of those animals, then I think we have to keep our mind open."
She noted the industry had previously fought stocking density cuts in court, prompting the government to cave in and made only minimal reductions.