Beef industry at threat: Petersen

DR PATRICIA Petersen, Lecturer in Economics at Central Queensland University, has blasted the federal government over its handling of the live export trade.

Dr Petersen said that the Australian beef industry, domestically worth seven billion dollars, is now at threat because of the government’s mishandling of the live export issue.

“The government has failed to protect our meat industry. By not attending to animal welfare issues, by not recognising the serious threat that animal welfare issues pose to our domestic cattle industry, it has been negligent,” said Dr Petersen.

“Not if, but when, more footage of livestock cruelty and torture goes to air, the domestic cattle industry will lose over 500 million in revenue, which is more than the entire live export market is worth.

”Animal activists are not going to go away. There is widespread community support for the banning of live exports. This problem is not going to disappear just because the Labor government would, for political reasons, prefer that it did.”

She said immediately after the Four Corners Program, which displayed cattle torture in Indonesia, Australian consumption of beef fell “not insignificantly”.

“This Labor government needs to roll up its economic sleeves and do what it should have done a long time ago - phase out live exports,” she said.

Dr Petersen said that she had spoken to numerous academic and industry economists who all support her claim that for fiscal reasons, the live export trade ought to be banned.



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