In the lead up to ABC's 7.30 report on live export cruelty tonight, the Australian Greens have underlined the failures of the ESCAS system to reduce animal cruelty and responded to the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council's statement on the Egyptian scandal.
"The Australian Livestock Exporters' Council is clutching at straws if it hopes the failed ESCAS system will end the animal welfare abuses witnessed in Egypt," Senator Rhiannon said.
"ESCAS is a failed system as the slaughter of livestock cannot be controlled from a desk in Canberra.
"The Exporters Council is trying to use ESCAS to protect their business interests, when the evidence is clear that it is time to wind up the live export trade and expand the trade in processed meat. That is the way to give the pastoralists and all those associated with the industry certainty.
"The failures of the ESCAS system are on display every time Animals Australia blows the whistle on another incident of animal cruelty.
"The fact that it is Animals Australia representatives and not an Australian government official that exposes the cruelty in overseas abattoirs is the clearest proof that ESCAS does not work.
"The government is misleading the public if it backs the push from exporters to adopt the ESCAS regulations for the welfare of livestock exported from Australia to Egypt. In the short time this regulatory system has been operating numerous examples of the distressing treatment of exported animals has emerged.
"By calling for the ESCAS system to be adopted for livestock trade with Egypt the exporters are putting their interests before that of the pastoralists and rural communities who need certainty and before the welfare of the livestock.
Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has:
- an end live export bill currently being debated in the Senate
- issued a report on the five steps need to build the domestic processing industry and transition from live exports
- repeatedly called for Labor's establishment of the overdue Office of Animal Welfare.