LIFTING live export quotas will be among the demands listed by the WA Farmers Federation tomorrow ahead of the March state election.The federation will unveil its 2013 election demands tomorrow, which will also include more funding for country roads, changes to land-clearing laws and continued use of GM foods.
WAFF president Dale Park told The Sunday Times WA should be shipping more live animals, to profit from the lower costs of slaughtering them overseas.
"Live export is incredibly important," he said. "We get more money for exported cattle than for animals that are killed locally.
"If we can have abattoirs which are compliant to Australian standards we should be processing more animals in Indonesia."
All countries buying Australian livestock must now meet strict animal welfare standards since live exports to Indonesia were suspended for a month in 2011 after footage of Australian cattle being slaughtered inhumanely was aired on TV.
Mr Park said the federation's No.1 priority in the lead-up to the state election would be getting "draconian" land-clearing laws changed.
They're effectively taking away people's ability to farm some of their land," he said.
"If you knock over a single tree that's within 50m of another single tree, you've broken the law."
For father-of-two Roger Tonkin, the pressure of trying to make a profit from agriculture in WA has become too hard. He plans to leave the industry next year.
The Moora farmer said sheep prices had fallen 40 per cent in the past 12 months because of the live export bans and many family farms would be squeezed out in the next few years as larger, corporate entities took over.
"There's not enough profit in it to farm sustainably," he said.
"There are a lot of people who are very worried."
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