The Australian Greens are leading a push to phase out live animal exports and create new jobs in the Australian chilled meat industry. Senator Lee Rhiannon, Australian Greens spokesperson for Animal Welfare, will join Greens Senator for South Australia Robert Simms, and Greens MLC for South Australia Tammy Franks in Adelaide today to launch the plan.
"The public is distressed by the cruelty suffered by sheep and cattle exported to live export markets, and they want the trade to end. The government needs to respond - not with half-baked inquiries, but a comprehensive plan to stop exporting livestock for consumption and instead process the meat in Australia,” said Senator Rhiannon.
“The current ESCAS rules that are supposed to stop cruelty of our live exports are a proven failure. We can’t control animal welfare from a desk in Canberra. Right now the appalling treatment of exported animals continues.
“As well as the Greens Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill to end live exports from Australia, the Greens have a five point plan for a just transition towards an economically sustainable chilled meat trade,” she said.
Senator Simms said Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is in denial about the long viability of the live export trade. “If Mr Joyce is committed to the future of farming communities and regional economies he would be advocating for more regional abattoirs and an expansion of the boxed, chilled meat trade,” he said.
"The Greens proposal provides a win-win. A win in that we can reduce animal cruelty by ending the live export trade and boost the local meat export trade. This is how we can boost Australia's economy and assist farmers.
“Domestic processing of livestock is worth much more to the Australian economy per animal than live exports are. Putting an end to the brutal live export trade and supporting local industry and local jobs go hand in hand, and the Greens want to see new skilled and semi-skilled jobs for regional areas in the domestic meat processing industry.”