Cruelty evidence sparks new move to end live exports

Media statement, Tuesday, 15 October, 2013.

The Greens will try yet again to legislate for an end to live exports when federal parliament resumes in the wake of revelations that Australian sheep are being illegally sold for sacrifice in Jordan and Kuwait.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren identified the latest investigative report as adding to the growing list of reasons that live export should end.

“How many of our sheep and cattle have to face illegal and unethical treatment in distant countries before Australia finally says ‘enough is enough’?”
“Thanks to the tireless work by Animals Australia, we have evidence that Australian sheep are being smuggled out of approved Middle Eastern markets and into dodgy back street sales where sheep are being sold into an inhumane demise for an upcoming cultural festival”.

Commenting on the serious breaches of live export standards in Jordan and Kuwait, Senator Lee Rhiannon said these incidents have again demonstrated why a comprehensive ban on live exports is necessary to protect animal welfare.        

“These latest incidents of mass cruelty highlight the enormous problems with the Coalition’s plan to boost the quota of animals destined for the live export trade,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“The current ESCAS model is a failed and unworkable system as the humane slaughter of Australian animals cannot be controlled from a desk in Canberra.

“This so-called regulatory system has not stopped the appalling treatment of exported animals as detailed in these latest reports.

“When parliament resumes I will be moving legislation to end the live export trade and set up an Independent Office of Animal Welfare”.

Ms MacLaren emphasised that although it is a positive step that ALP members are speaking out against the poor treatment of Australian live export in Jordan and Kuwait, steps need to be made in parliament to put the trade to a halt.

“Thanks to the hard work of Senator Rhiannon, the Greens will be proposing to legislate to stop live export federally, I call on the ALP to support us … we must all unite and take action”.

The Greens are pushing for a transition to a chilled boxed meat exports to overseas markets.

“A highly successful chilled meat export industry will serve to boost the Australian cattle industry by providing greater market certainty, increased employment, as well as improved animal welfare,” Senator Rhiannon said.