6 December, 2010 2:39PM AEDT The grass is greener for Western Australian sheep
By Debbie Rybicki
Cattle and sheep from Western Australia are being sold and trucked across the Nullarbor to restock the lush pastures of western Victoria.
President of the Western Australian Farmers Federation Mike Norton says more than one million animals have been transported from Western Australia to the east coast of Australia.
"It's Western Australia to the aid. We've certainly supplied you with another million head of sheep and another 100,000 head of cattle to take up the slack in your abattoirs," Mr Norton says.
He admits that the welfare of the animals during travel has become a highly debated issue but says the livestock are better off in Victoria.
"The sheep had no future here in Western Australia," he says.
"The abattoirs couldn't slaughter that number of sheep and you couldn't ship that number of sheep offshore."
Farmers in Western Australia are selling the bulk of their stock before the animals fall into a stressed condition from lack of food.
Very few of the stock will go back to Western Australia due to biosecurity and the prohibitive cost.Peter Coghlan has just transported ewes that he bought from WA. He says he thought his business was too reliant on crops and decided to get extra sheep to spread the risk.