Each year sheep are exported to countries where they are used in breeding programs, to rebuild and improve flocks as well as for meat and protein. As such, sheep export provides a valuable market option for WA producers.
As well as providing a living for many Western Australian farmers, the trade supports many businesses, including feed suppliers and manufacturers, transport companies, shearers, veterinarians, exporters and livestock agents. These businesses have either emerged to support the sheep export industry or have grown in response to it and are largely dependent on the trade for their business. The trade plays a crucial role in underpinning the economic activity and social wellbeing of large parts of southern WA.
In the absence of live sheep exports, there is Insufficient sheep processing (abattoir) capacity in WA to support the production capacity of the WA sheep flock. As the major state supplying the live export trade, stopping exports would result in a reduction in price for WA farmers, a down turn in wool production and a rapid decline in sheep numbers.
In 2017/18, the live sheep trade contributed $209.3 million to the WA economy.