RSPCA WA chair Lynne Bradshaw AM has written an opinion piece (Countryman, October 26) attempting to diminish the live sheep export industry’s enviable animal welfare achievements and genuine reform. The fact is that while mortality is not a perfect measure, it is objective and reported by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It is also reflective of better animal welfare outcomes. However, when presented with the evidence, it is still not enough for RSPCA WA. The reality is that RSPCA WA, just like its national body, is hellbent on closing the trade regardless of evidence and regardless of the damage it will cause their fellow West Australians. If RSPCA genuinely had animal welfare improvement as their goal, they would work collaboratively with industry and support its continuous improvement. Yet they do not. Let us also not forget that the Albanese Government’s live sheep phase-out policy is being driven by an East Coast political agenda that is willing to sell out WA producers to attract East Coast voters. We know West Australians support their producers, yet RSPCA WA sees fit to buy into this east coast rhetoric. Live export of sheep creates employment in regional areas and is the foundation for the prosperity of many rural WA communities. Regardless of how a phase out would be conducted, it would be catastrophic for these small communities and farmers, with the repercussions being felt across Australia and even globally with our trading partners. That is why reversal of the policy is the only sensible decision. I speak to many West Australian farmers in my role, and consistently I am told they are tired of being lectured to by East Coast politicians and activist groups seeking to close their businesses. I can’t imagine how infuriating it must be when they see their local RSPCA does nothing more than jump on this bandwagon — showing they only have east coast interests at heart. Mark Harvey-Sutton is chief executive of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council.