The discontinuation of a high profile case against a major exporter has not swayed the federal government in its plans to phase out the export of live sheep by sea.
Animal cruelty charges against Emanuel Exports were dropped last week, just a week before trial and more than six years after the deaths of 2400 sheep aboard the Awassi Express, which sparked major scrutiny of export conditions, ultimately leading to major industry reform
A federal government spokeswoman said the Albanese government had been clear on its intentions to implement the election commitment to phase out the trade.
"We have also been clear the end date for live sheep exports by sea will not occur during this term of parliament, to allow for an orderly transition, in consultation with industry and other stakeholders," she said
"The Albanese government wants to see the sheep industry continue to thrive, built on more onshore processing jobs and increasing sheep meat exports.
"We are hitting new records for the amount of sheep being processed in Australia and we are hitting new records for sheep meat exports.
"That is a good thing for local producers, processors and regional communities."
But the spokeswoman could not confirm when the independent panel's report on how to handle the transition would be released.
"The independent panel consulting on the phase out of live sheep exports by sea considered a wide range of research, analysis and data in preparing its report," she said.
"In terms of economic analysis, the panel considered existing publicly available research, submissions made during its consultations and research the panel commissioned.
"The government will now take the time to properly assess all recommendations in the report provided by the independent panel and develop a responsible response.
"The report will be released following appropriate consideration by government.
"The government will not be commenting on the details of the report while it carefully considers the recommendations."
It comes even as the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council reiterates calls for the government to reverse the policy.
ALEC CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton said that it supported the National Farmers' Federation's Keep Farmers Farming campaig."This campaign is crucial in letting people know that a ban on live sheep exports will hurt more than just farmers - it's an attack on the livelihood of other industries and community groups that rely on them," he said.
"The Prime Minister said in Question Time [last] week that the collapse in prices is not due to the live sheep ban, because it 'hasn't happened'.
"Unfortunately, this shows a manifest misunderstanding of the ways in which farmers plan for the future.
"The Prime Minister, who is an avid sporting fan of many codes across Australia, knows that if two stars are ruled out of the game the rest of the team has less confidence.
"However, imagine if the team was told that they couldn't play in the grand final because of a policy, not of their making, even though they had played within rules and had recorded the best statistics over the last 10 years.
"That's not what Australians call a fair go!"
Mr Harvey-Sutton said market confidence was underpinned by sound policy.
"The concern here is that the threat of a ban on live exports is already knocking market confidence for farmers and putting Australia's wool and sheep industries at risk," he said.
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