A Labor-led push to cripple parts of Australia’s agriculture industry has once again shown they will attack farmers to appease special interest groups.

A Bill passed by the Senate – co-sponsored by the Greens along with independents Derryn Hinch and Tim Storer – would phase out live sheep exports within five years.

However, Senator Hinch was later filmed saying “cattle are next”.

It follows moves made at Labor’s Queensland conference in Brisbane, with a motion to end live animal exports by 2030. The last time Labor was in power the cattle industry was devastated by live export bans and earlier this year Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said he wanted to kill the industry.

Professional protest groups like PETA and GetUp – which oppose the livestock industry – have joined with the Greens to pressure Labor into taking this anti-farming stance. These are the same groups that promote trespassing on farms and militant veganism.

The Nationals were outraged when videos of mistreated sheep set for export were aired earlier this year, and strongly condemn anyone who would mistreat animals. We know farmers care deeply for their livestock, as is evidenced by their efforts to maintain stock during the drought. But to outlaw an entire industry as a knee-jerk reaction will ultimately cause more harm than good. Setting aside the ulterior motives of these protest groups, and their desire to bring an end to huge sections of the broader agriculture industry, ending live animal exports from Australia will only shift the market to another supplier.

If we want to ensure animals are treated properly, then it is far better for that to occur on our shores where we can put in place rules and controls about livestock welfare.