Opposing sides rally over live animal exports

Opposing sides rally over live animal exports

Opposing sides rally over live animal exports

Updated 18 November 2012, 17:25 AEDT

Hundreds of producers and exporters have lined Fremantle's foreshore in Western Australia as part of a counter rally against a live exports protest.

The agricultural industry claims their sector has been unfairly represented in the live export debate and claim their industry upholds and promotes animal welfare.

Export rally organiser Michael Trant says the agricultural industry has been unfairly represented, ever since vision showing the inhumane slaughter of Australian sheep in Pakistan was aired on the ABC's Four Corners program earlier this year.

Mr Trant says stopping the live trade would force international buyers to look elsewhere.

"What happened with Pakistan was an unforeseen isolated, couldn't even been imagined incident," he said.

"It's just a foreign government comes in and hijacks sheep.

"It's just unheard of."

Animal activists lined the bridge above the industry representatives, dressed in black to form what they have described as a human chain.

They want an end to the live export industry.

Mr Trant says Australian producers and exporters actively promote animal welfare.

"Every country exports live animals pretty much," he said.

"And Australia is the only one that does anything in their markets to improve anything.

"So cutting us out with the argument it will stop the cruelty is ridiculous.

"It just won't happen. They'll just get stock from elsewhere."

Mounted police and patrol vehicles kept the two groups separated, amid fears of a confrontation between the two groups.

Police say they responded to a small number of farmers who went beyond their designated areas, but there were no clashes.

No arrests were made, while two move-on notices were issued, and two people were fined for failing to wear a seatbelt.