The sheep industry has rallied behind an outspoken Boyup Brook farmer as a new campaign is launched to shame the Federal Government into reversing the ban on live exports and save local jobs. Boyup Brook farmer Charles Caldwell told the Times last week that claims by the Federal Department of Agriculture’s research arm that plummeting sheep prices were not connected to the live export ban was “out of touch with reality”. Following Mr Caldwell’s criticism of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, other farmers have come out in support. Meanwhile the National Farmers’ Federation has launched an advertising campaign, including a billboard on one of Perth’s busiest roads, to try to get metropolitan support to reverse the Federal Government ban live sheep exports. NFF president David Jochinke said the billboard installed at Canning Highway in Como on Monday aimed to educate voters to better understand the impact the ban would have on small farming communities. “This policy is already hurting farmers. We’re already hearing accounts of farmers getting out of sheep because they don’t know what the future holds,” he said. Mr Caldwell said “anyone who has half a brain knows the price drop is based on a lack of confidence, which was brought by the Government’s policy to phase out live exports”. “They’re not in the real world and have no idea of how markets work if they think that the two are in no way linked.” His comments were supported by Corrigin stud breeder Steve Bolt who said there was “no science” behind the claims made by ABARES executive director Jared Greenville during a recent Senate estimates hearing. “They admitted they hadn’t done any research into it; they hadn’t spoken to any growers, processors, exporters, or agents,” Mr Bolt said. “Anyone farming in Western Australia knows the exact cause of where we sit now. WA’s loss of confidence and the situation we’re in now is 100 per cent driven by this Albanese Government policy.” Mr Bolt warned of a looming “on-farm animal welfare crisis” as farmers struggled to off-load huge numbers before summer, with abattoirs fully booked and not enough ships to shift sheep overseas. “We will have a crisis on our hands, if not now, in coming months, if we can’t continue to ship large volumes out of the State,” he said. “At what point is (Federal Agriculture Minister) Murray Watt going to take responsibility for this crisis he has created?” Mr Caldwell agreed that many local farmers were trying to reduce their flocks due to the lack of confidence in the market. “Every single sheep farmer I’ve spoken to is currently going to go through financial difficulties and are impacted, knowing that their business is no longer viable,” he said.