Unfortunately, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt has announced that he is implementing the Labor policy of banning the live sheep export.
Bowing to the animal liberationists on this one has damaged this government's reputation in the ag sector.
Key metrics on animal welfare outcomes with the trade have been moving in the right direction for many years.
Australia's involvement in live ex-trade has seen the science of moving animals around the planet advance significantly.
There is also a tremendous amount of good that is done by staff training in destination countries that benefit animals worldwide.
Mortalities that sat at 5 per cent 40 years ago are well below 0.5pc on most of the voyages.
The industry has quite clearly embraced continuous improvement and achieved it.
It has bought and paid for its social licence to operate.
Watt could have looked at the data, reconsidered the decision, and been a hero.
It would be interesting to be in the room of the Independent Office of Animal Welfare when they are tasked with constructing a version of the truth to justify this clearly political move.
The live cattle trade is next on the chopping block.
A cattle ban potentially affects more marginal Labor seats, so it will be more defendable. However, beware, agriculture is expendable when it comes to Labor. Unfortunately, this is the narrative this government will have to live with.
Where to from here? Watt has obviously learnt from Ludwig's $600 million folly of closing an industry overnight and has put together a committee to advise on how to put down this industry humanely.
The committee has some serious work on its plate.
Unless the aim of the shutdown is to close down the Western Australian sheep industry, then the committee may want to look at finding somewhere for the sheep to go.
Giving them to a local processor at half the price is obviously unacceptable and not really in the long-term interests of farmers or the meat workers.
Competition in the sheep slaughter market is thin enough in the east, it is positively non-existent in the west.
Live export was another hand and sometimes several hands in the air at an auction.
The committee would be wise to look at the impact on the chilled trade into the Middle East.
Although the nexus between live export and chilled is not as tight as previously, there will be ramifications worth millions for our meat trade to the Middle East.
I would like a dollar for every time I have been told by a moralising crusader on live export that we should send processed product into these markets.
I have politely explained while we have developed these markets using live export contacts, it is more complicated than a straight substitution.
But hey, I'm just a conflicted straw-chewing sheep cocky. What would I know?