LAST UPDATED: 26 September 2016
They say if you want to know where the world is heading just look at where the money is being invested... well for Agribusiness giant Elders, it's no longer going to be in the shipping of live animals from Australia.
A pioneer of the live export industry, Elders has announced it will immediately stop shipping cattle to China and is selling off its short haul and air freight operations which have been sending sheep and cattle into South East Asia.
The live export business is the business that keeps us awake at night.Elders CEO, Mark Allison
It's not only board members who'll be sleeping easier but shareholders have responded positively to the news, with Elders' share price jumping 7 per cent on the back of the announcement.
In a stark and telling contrast that shows just how unpalatable live export is to the average investor, WA exporter Wellard has taken a battering on the stock exchange, their share price plummeting to a record and untenable low.
It is the highest risk business from a reputational viewpoint, from a sovereign risk viewpoint, from an exchange rate viewpoint, from a biological viewpoint and from a regulatory viewpoint.Elders CEO, Mark Allison
Animals Australia's investigations exposing terrible cruelty to animals at every stage of the live export journey resulted in regulations that have made exporting harder, more expensive and a less attractive investment prospect.
But there's another reason companies like Elders are reviewing their business models... you.
There might be some political or social aspect to the reasoning as to why they're looking to exit this as a business model. From a social standing, they may be making the decision that it's uneconomic at the moment and into the future.Mercado market analyst, Matt Dalgleish
Market analysts say Elders' decision isn't just about the bottom line but more likely a reflection of growing community concern about animal welfare. After all, live animal export not only reflects terribly on the countries that allow it but on the companies that facilitate and profit from it.
And as more people speak up for animals and voice their concerns about live export, the more companies like Elders will be inspired to reconsider where they invest their time and money.