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All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : WA Export News December 22, 2011, 09:48:40 AM

: One million sheep sent to the Eastern States from WA. 22.12.2011
: WA Export News December 22, 2011, 09:48:40 AM
Produce or perish says industry leader.

 MORE WA sheep processors could be forced to close their doors or keep their doors closed if producers don't increase their lambing percentages.

According to Sheep Industry Leadership Council (SILC) chairman Rob Egerton-Warburton, sheep producers needed to increase their lambing percentages to ensure the future of the industry.

The call from Mr Egerton-Warburton comes as doubts are raised about the future of some WA sheep processors with Hillside Meats declaring voluntary administration last week.

The issue of sheep supply in WA has been a major talking point in the industry following the disasters of last season, with the dry forcing more than one million sheep to be sent to the Eastern States.

Mr Egerton-Warburton warned if producers didn't increase their lambing percentages more abattoirs could close.

He said it was up to producers to ensure the sustainability of the sheep industry.

"If we (producers) don't get the numbers of sheep up in the State then the closing of abattoirs could become a common occurrence," Mr Egerton-Warburton said.

"It is up to producers to get off their backsides and start producing more lambs.

"The industry needs to increase the percentage of lambs it turns off going forward and that needs to happen very quickly."

He said all producers needed to have a lambing percentage in excess of 90 per cent.

"We cannot sustain the number of abattoirs in WA with the number of sheep we have at the moment," he said.

"The warning to producers is if sheep producers don't lift their lambing percentages from 70pc to 90pc, then yes, more processors will go."

Hillside Meats has not opened this season, since closing in June.

Mr Egerton-Warburton said it was disappointing to hear that Hillside Meats was under pressure but was hopeful the processor could reopen should sheep numbers re-build.

"It is a sign of the pressure processors are under," he said.

05 Dec, 2011 (