Jobs in Local Meat Industry Must Replace Live Exports Pain

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said today that Joe Ludwig’s interview in Four Corners last night explains in no uncertain terms why live exports must end.

“The Minister’s poor excuses for failings in the live export regulatory scheme demonstrate that the Government is at a loss to explain how animal welfare requirements can be met,” Ms MacLaren, Greens spokesperson on animal welfare, added.

“I can’t imagine how distressed sheep farmers must feel to see their sheep being butchered so brutally in Pakistan.

“Mr Ludwig, the federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, couldn’t even offer reassurances. It’s now common knowledge that in the live export trade, the brutal mistreatment of animals is a consequence our Government is powerless to prevent.

Ms MacLaren questioned the State Government’s hands-off approach.

“The writing has been on the wall for a long time, and the State Government is missing an opportunity to support a transition for sheep producers that would benefit local industry.

“A chilled and packaged meat export industry based in Western Australia would reap the financial returns currently enjoyed by those importing countries and create more Australian jobs. That’s value-adding right here.

“I questioned the WA Minister for Agriculture on transitioning to local production, but got a lame response.

“On the one hand, the Minister said the livestock industry is very capable of capitalising on current demand, and acknowledged the value of the industry. On the other hand, he said there would be negative economic impacts for WA. The State Government has a go-nowhere policy on transitioning to local production.

“The livestock sector is disrupted. It’s about time the State Government responded to that.

The Greens’ laws to ban live exports are being debated in Federal Parliament.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “Australian regulations administered from a desk in Canberra have no currency in Pakistan. The strength of ESCAS is as a media management tool, not a system that will guarantee animal welfare. 

“The Labor government has always known it cannot enforce animal welfare standards overseas. Now with this latest exposure of the government’s failure they have admitted that the brutality we saw again on Four Corners could occur in any country that takes our live animal exports,” Senator Rhiannon said.