A BAN on live animal exports would benefit local farmers, according to Greens candidate for Bendigo Lachlan Slade.
Mr Slade said rather than cause problems for farmers looking to export meat offshore, the animals would be slaughtered at local abattoirs and create jobs.
“If it were done right, the way the Greens want it done, we’d certainly see communities like Bendigo, Macedon Ranges and Castlemaine benefit,” he said.
“We’d see a lot more jobs created through local abattoirs.
“All farmers do care about their animals and we’d see a lot happier farmers who would see the animals they’ve raised meet a much more humane and dignified end.”
Mr Slade said he supported a rally, held in Melbourne at the weekend, which called for a ban on live exports.
“We’re not calling for an end to using animals for meat at all,” he said.
“What we’re asking for is a much more humane way of doing what we’re doing.
“Local abattoirs would get a lot more business as a result of that.
“Live animal exports are very inhumane and it’s not a very good process for any animal to go through.”
Mr Slade supported a parliamentary bill, which calls for an office of animal welfare.
But Liberal candidate for Bendigo Greg Bickley said he had concerns about recent beef export bans.
“Banning the live export trade would not necessarily equate to increase processing product here in Australia,” he said.
“The damage that has been done to not only our beef industry in Australia on the back of a Labor Greens knee-jerk reaction to a television program, but also the damage done to Australia’s relationship to Indonesia, is of great concern.
“I fully support Australia’s farmers, primary producers and exporters and I will seek to support the businesses in this region that are involved either directly or indirectly in that industry.”
Labor candidate for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said some changes were needed.
“I believe that we need stricter regulation of the live export trade and a plan to phase out the trade in favour of local processing, local jobs and better animal welfare,” she said.
“With the right phase-out plan, we can transition current live export jobs to domestic processing jobs.
“Jobs associated with transport, exporting and producing will still be needed if we have an expanded domestic processing sector.”
Ms Chesters said she voted in support of new live export rules at her party’s national conference.
“I supported an amendment asking delegates to support a four-year transition away from live export to a strengthened Australian chilled meat export trade – a move that would both protect Australian animals and promote Australian jobs,” she said.