Commenting on the suspension of the live export trade to Egypt after vision of the cruel treatment of Australian cattle emerged, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said the government should admit that they cannot stop cruel practices in overseas countries and give certainty to the industry by expanding the trade in processed meat from Australia.
"This latest evidence of brutality in the slaughter of Australian cattle in two Egyptian abattoirs, obtained by Animals Australia, is the last straw. Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig should move to quickly transition away from live exports and establish an overdue independent Office of Animal Welfare.
"Minister Ludwig's promise of an investigation rings hollow. The public still have not seen results of an inquiry in promised in November after the botched Pakistan slaughter of Australian sheep.
"Animals Australia has yet again done the job of government in identifying cruelty in the Ain Sokhna and Ismailia abattoirs.
"The government should admit that they cannot stop cruel practices in overseas countries and give certainty to the industry by expanding the trade in processed meat from Australia.
"This latest exposure by Animals Australia of more cases of extreme brutality of livestock exported from Australia is indicative of the broader trade.
"This trade is unacceptable when there is a viable alternative. Australian livestock should go to local abattoirs and the government should work with the industry to boost overseas trade in processed meat.
"This transition would reflect the desires of four out of five Australians which back the government phasing out the trade in favour of a local chilled meat export industry.
"All those associated with this industry deserve certainty and the government should move quickly to open up abattoirs in regional Australia and help boost trade opportunities.
"This is where we can have a win-win by creating jobs in regional Australia and reduce animal cruelty.
"Every year thousands of animals die when shipped overseas and those that survive may be subjected to extreme cruelty when they arrive at their destination.
"The Gillard government should also make good its overdue promise to establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare which has been on the cards since 2011," Senator Rhiannon said.