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Call for Australian Federal Police to investigate live export fraud charges

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 15 Apr 2014

Commenting on the 7.30 report about allegations of falsified documents within the live export industry, Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said: 

"Very serious allegations against a senior official within the live export trade system have been raised. It is crucial that these are now investigated thoroughly by the Australian Federal Police. 

"Time and again the Government's regulatory system, the ESCAS, has failed to stop the horrific suffering of animals in our live export trade, with no appropriate response from the Department of Agriculture.

"The Department's inquiry into the brutal killing of 21,000 sheep in Pakistan in 2012 failed to ask critical questions about the factors that led to the cull in the first place. It cleared the exporter Wellard even though there was compelling evidence that the exporter's failure to be transparent with Pakistan authorities contributed to the killings.

"However the ABC's investigation has suggested fraud may have been at the heart of this matter and elsewhere in the industry. This is a criminal matter and can't be ignored. It should be investigated by the AFP.

"This makes a mockery of Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce's claims that resuming live exports to Egypt is fine since it is covered by ESCAS. The Greens have said since day one ESCAS is inherently flawed.

"The Greens will continue to campaign for an end to live exports and a move to a viable export trade in boxed chilled meat.

"The Greens bill to end the live export trade should be supported by the government and opposition. It is time the Coalition and Labor listened to the concerns of most Australians who want this cruel trade to end."

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