Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says today’s watering down by Labor caucus of a backbencher’s live exports motion, rejecting mandated stunning, showed the government lacks an appetite for ensuring animal welfare standards are lifted by the industry (‘Labor waters down live cattle motion’).
“The gutting of Labor backbencher Tony Zappia’s motion, that required animals be stunned unconscious before slaughter, does not bode well for upcoming recommendations of a Senate live exports inquiry and government’s independent review into live exports,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Pre-slaughter stunning is not merely preferable, it is critical if we are to move quickly towards the more humane treatment of cattle processed overseas.
“Today’s vote by caucus suggests the government is not serious about cleaning up the industry by guaranteeing animals are not slaughtered while conscious.
“The resumption of trade with Indonesia, without requiring stunning, was disappointing.
“Today’s vote again shows that there is luke-warm support within the Gillard government for ensuring significant animal welfare improvements in the sector.
“The public expects more from the soon to be released reports of the Senate inquiry and Mr Bill Farmer’s review,” Senator Rhiannon said.