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Greens reintroduce bill to ban live exports

Media release - 21 March 2012

The Australian Greens this afternoon reintroduced a bill into the Senate to ban live animal exports, the Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2012.

"The live animal export trade is cruel, inhuman and immoral and the vast majority of Australians want it shut down.  This Greens bill would put an immediate end to the horrific treatment of Australian livestock in overseas abattoirs", said Greens Senator and animal spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

"Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig would like to think the debate is over, but serious cracks in the government's export chain assurance system show that the safeguards are not up to the task.

"Since the live export trade with Indonesia resumed, cattle have been slaughtered at 62 different abattoirs across Indonesia, 12 of which do not practice pre-slaughter stunning.

 "It is madness to think that each of these abattoirs can be monitored adequately and enforcement action taken.

"The horrific footage of animal cruelty in the Temur Petir and Cakung abattoirs in Jakarta, recently taken by Animals Australia, shows the system's failings.  Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has still not confirmed that the footage was of Australian cattle and the investigation drags on.

"There is no way to implement safeguards that can guarantee the humane transport and slaughter of animals in overseas markets.

"The live export industry has failed to prevent the suffering and deaths of 2.5 million animals during transportation over the past three decades.

"Thousands of jobs could be created by increased domestic processing of meat.

"Jobs in the meat processing industry in Australia dropped from between 40,000 to 48,000 workers in the 1970s to around 32,000 workers in 2009.

"ACIL Tasman's 2009 review into live sheep trade found that phasing out live sheep exports would have long term benefits for farmers and the economy.

"The public chorus against the live export trade is only getting louder.  This bill gives the government has another opportunity to redress the wrongs which have appalled so many Australians," Senator Rhiannon said.

For comment or a copy of the second reading speech: 0487 350 880

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