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Littleproud slams Labor over live exports

By Country News

Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has slammed the opposition after Labor announced they were walking away from a agreement on live exports.

Mr Littleproud spoke to Country News on the issue while he visited ACM's building site at Girgarre yesterday (May 3).

"We are terribly disappointed," he said.

"We had a bi-partisan approach. For the matter of two weeks of waiting for the science to come back, they panicked.

"This just shows Joel Fitzgibbon and the Labor party and Bill Shorten don't have the temperament to lead this country.

"When things get tough they run. You’ve got to stay the course, you’ve got to wait for evidence and predicate your decisions on science, not emotion."

Mr Littleproud's comments came in response to the opposition hardening its position on the issue, calling for the trade to be phased out amid animal welfare concerns.

"If we can focus more on premium markets, chilled lamb for example, to those burgeoning middle class markets in Asia, we can lift the profitability of our farmers," Labor's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said.

Live exports are under immense pressure after shocking footage emerged of sheep dying on a voyage to the Middle East in 2016, prompting the government to announce a series of reviews into the trade.