The government response, released today, to the Senate Inquiry into Animal Welfare Standards in Live Export will not appease public concerns about the live export trade, said Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
"After eight months of waiting for a response to the Senate Inquiry, the government's effort today will do little to address the tidal wave of public concern about the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals in the live export trade" said Senator Rhiannon.
"The government rejected the Australian Greens' recommendations to put an immediate ban on live exports of animals and to make pre-slaughter stunning mandatory.
"The government is putting too much faith in industry to do the government's job.
"This response rejects a recommendation, supported by Labor Senators on the committee, that the Chief Veterinary Officer oversee the effectiveness of Mark IV restraint boxes and assess their impact on the humane treatment of animals (recommendation 3).
"Palming off oversight to industry, rather than giving the power to the Chief Veterinary Officer, is a setback for animal welfare.
"Leaving LiveCorp and Meat and Livestock Australia in charge of standards for Mark IV restraint boxes is like leaving the prison keys with the inmates.
"This inquiry, prompted by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, opened up the live export trade to parliamentary scrutiny.
"The live animal export trade is inhumane and brutally exploits animals. Thousands of jobs could be created by shifting to process more meat in Australia.
"Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig will continue to feel the heat until the cruel live export trade is stopped and mandatory stunning introduced", said Senator Rhiannon.