The Labor government must respond to mounting public concern over the cruelty involved in the live export of Australian livestock and move quickly to end the trade, said Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon in the lead up to today's ban live export rallies to be held in capital cities across Australia.
"The recent cruel treatment of Australian sheep stranded at sea and subject to brutality in Pakistan must be the final wake up call to the federal government and the live export industry. This trade has to end," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Government promises to clean up this industry are worthless. No amount of regulation can end the cruelty that is inherent in the live export trade.
"The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System has failed. Wellard, the exporter involved in the shipment to Pakistan, has admitted that it lost control of its own operation.
"My office has been inundated with messages from the public. They don’t want more scandals; they want the government to act.
"The Greens have a private members to end the live export trade, that I will endeavour to bring on for debate when parliament resumes next week.
"We can have a win-win here. Banning the live export trade would ensure our livestock come under Australian standards and animal welfare is improved. Thousands of jobs would be created and local economies strengthened by processing the meat locally.
"The Greens have been calling on the government to support more processing facilities in Australia. Studies have shown that most Australian beef cattle farms have diversified and are not completely reliant on live exports.
"Animals Australia and Animal Liberation are to be congratulated for their outstanding work over many years the expose the cruelty in the live export trade, and for moving quickly to call today’s rallies," Senator Rhiannon said.
Senator Rhiannon will speak today at the Sydney ban live export rally, 12pm Saturday 6 October at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney. She will speak alongside Glenys Oogjes (Animals Australia), Christine Townend (Animal Liberation NSW) and Sam McLean (GetUp!). These keynote speakers will hold a press conference at 1130am out the back of NSW parliament prior to the rally.