Greens spokesperson on animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon commenting on Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce's plan to expand Australia's live export trade into Iran said:
"Minister Barnaby Joyce is looking after a few wealthy pastoralists ahead of jobs growth in regional Australia.
"Expanding the live export trade into Iran is not about assisting farmers and rural communities.
"Minister Joyce is putting his sectional interests before the economic health of regional and rural Australia.
"This expansion is happening while allegations of criminal misconduct within the live export trade are still being investigated.
"The Government is also continuing to shirk responsibility for the cases of extreme live export cruelty that have been revealed by Animals Australia.
"A responsible government would be working with farmers to expand the processed meat trade. This is how farmers can have certainty that there is a future for their farms and we can build long term jobs for regional communities.
"Opening up abattoirs across regional Australia would create 1000s of jobs and help secure Australia a stronger place in the expanding international trade in processed meat.
"Record boxed lamb shipments were sent to the Middle East in the last fiscal year and Bahrain had totally replaced Australian live sheep imports with the import of Australian meat shows. This shows there is a viable and more humane alternative.
"In 2013 the 170,000 tonnes of boxed chilled red meat that went to the Middle East brought in about $780 million dollars for Australia's red meat industries.
"The Greens bill to end the live export trade now before the Senate shows how we can end the live export trade and transition to sustainable jobs and farming practices.
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