The Greens have again called for an end to live exports after 174 Australian sheep died on an export cargo plane due to ventilation failure.
Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "These tragic deaths again highlight the risks the industry is prepared to take with animals. It shouldn't be underestimated just how much each of these sheep would have suffered.
"This is the fourth separate incident where live exports have suffered cruel death on a cargo plane over the last 12 months, with 321 cattle dying in October 2013 because the airline's ventilation failed.
"I will be following the results of the investigation into these 174 deaths closely, and will use the upcoming Senate Estimates hearings to find out more.
"Earlier this year we learned that 4,000 sheep died in half an hour on a ‘horror voyage' in August 2013.
"The only way to end this horrific suffering is to end live exports and rebuild our domestic meat manufacturing by moving to chilled box meat exports. Such a move would protect animal welfare, create local jobs and boost our economy.
"Around 20,000 sheep die on ships each year - from heat stress, illness, injury and failing to eat the unfamiliar food on board - before they even reach their destination country.
"Live animal export cruelty must end. In order to provide Australian farmers with certainty, the Government needs to start investing in infrastructure to allow meat to be processed in Australia and increase boxed meat exports," Senator Rhiannon said.
Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon
• Reintroduced her bill to ban live export in the Senate this year
• has issued a report on the five steps needed to build the domestic processing industry and transition from live exports
• has repeatedly called for the establishment of the overdue Office of Animal Welfare
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