Bindi goes live to put grower case

Kate PollardCountryman

Woodanilling sheep producer Bindi Murray is spearheading a social media campaign calling on politicians to make an informed decision on the future of live animal exports.

On Monday night, all Federal members of parliament and senators were sent a short video clip of Ms Murray in her sheep yards giving her side of the story.

The campaign was instigated by the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) with Ms Murray explaining who she is, her business and why the live export trade is important to her family.

"It's an explanation to politicians that they need to understand the true value of the trade before they make a decision," Ms Murray said.

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Social media has been the key communication tool for animal activists who know how to use it to their advantage to get their message of banning live exports across to the general public and mainstream media.

The same tool is now being taken up by primary producers to get their message across and they are getting just as many 'likes' as their rivals.

Dairy farmer Jane Burney whipped up a social media storm in July against Coles $1 per litre milk, saying the deal was killing the lifeblood of the dairy industry.

More recently, Northern Territory cattle producer Jo Bloomfield, of Hodgson River station, posted 25 questions on Senator Lee Rhiannon's Ban Live Exports Now facebook page but the answers posted lacked on-the-ground knowledge.

Facebook and Twitter were also used by Influential Women, a group of female pastoralists from the Kimberley and Pilbara who visited Indonesia to see how their cattle were being treated.

PGA spokesman Sheldon Mumby said the social media campaign was focused on sheep and would also include cattle producers.

"It's being rolled out starting this week and will continue over the next six months, for as long as it takes," he said.

"Animal activists are very clever at showing and promoting the animal story and we are concentrating on the human story."

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