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Senate Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee: Agriculture and Water Resources Portfolio (Exports Division)

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

CHAIR: We will now move on to the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, or ESCAS.

Senator RHIANNON: The 2014 review of ESCAS found that nearly 13,000 animals had been transported outside approved channels between 2012 and 2014. Can you inform us how many animals have been known to move outside ESCAS since 2014?

Dr Clegg: I do not have that information with me, but I can provide it to you after this.

Senator RHIANNON: You will take that on notice?

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Coalition-Labor back animal cruelty - Govt vet alleged removal exposes latest live export scandal

The alleged removal of a senior live export veterinarian from her job with the Department of Agriculture reveals the level of control the live export industry has over the Turnbull-Joyce government, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

The ABC's 7.30 report "Vet removed for exposing appalling conditions on live export ships" was screened last night.

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Barnaby Joyce knew of Indonesian cattle plan and failed to act on transition

Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said that Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has mislead farmers and the public when he expressed surprise saying he was "disappointed" over the Indonesian government's plan to cut cattle imports from Australia.

"How could Minister Joyce be surprised and disappointed when news of the Indonesian decision has been on the public record for many years," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Speech: Biosecurity Bill 2014 et al Second Reading

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (18:24): I rise to speak on the Biosecurity Bill 2014 and four separate but related bills. My colleague senator Rachel Siewert has set out in a detailed way why this bill does need to be supported but it needs to be strengthened to gain that support. The majority committee report has a number of very useful recommendations regarding the bill, and the Greens amendments detail why we need to protect our environment, our industry and our economy. Biosecurity issues go to the very fabric of society. They are just so important.

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Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Department of Agriculture)

Senator RHIANNON: Which countries currently import kangaroo products?

Dr V Findlay : There are 68 countries. Just let me find my list, but I am not sure you want me to read out all 68.

Senator RHIANNON: No, I do not want you to read them out. Could you take it on notice, and could it include what kangaroo product is imported, the weight of the imports for each of those products and the financial value of each product, and could that be since June 2013?

Dr V Findlay : Yes, we have that information available.

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Liberal Senator's ag-gag bill targets whistleblowers

Liberal Senator Chris Back's bill to prosecute whistleblowers who expose animal cruelty should not be passed as it would restrict the important role of whistleblowers and investigators working to end animal cruelty, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"Undercover investigators play an important role exposing abuse of animals which, in many cases leads to prosecutions.

"The reframing of such actions as ‘criminal' by Senator Back attempts to divert attention from those who commit the animal cruelty.

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