Today Greens spokesperson for industry and animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon introduced the Greens bill to phase out live animal exports. Senator Rhiannon was joined by officials from the meatworkers union (AMIEU Newcastle & Northern branch) and veterinarian and Australian live exports whistleblower Dr Lynn Simpson.
Vets Against Live Export (VALE) and animal welfare groups Sentient, Humane Society International, Voiceless, RSPCA Australia, and Animals Australia have also given their support.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“The Australian community expects rigorous animal welfare regulations, with proper penalties for breaches. Unfortunately that is not happening.
“Ending the live export trade and transitioning to the domestic meat processing trade will not only stop a lot of animal cruelty, but it will create local jobs and boost local economies. It’s a win-win.
Grant Courtney, Secretary Newcastle & Northern Branch AMIEU, said:
“35,000 hardworking Australian meat workers depend on livestock being available for local processing so they can support their families, now more than ever.
“With the national herd at its lowest in a decade, now is not the time to send stock out live.
Dr Lynn Simpson, veterinarian and live exports whistleblower, said:
“Veterinary science should protect animal welfare and consumer safety. The live animal export trade has failed to meet acceptable animal welfare standards for decades and the trade has potential to jeopardise public health.
“The ‘live export trade’ has had too many chances for redemption and failed; it’s time to transition to safe, humane, chilled/frozen meat products.”