The federal government’s decision to restart the live export trade to Egypt will shock Australians and will cause suffering to exported animals Green animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today.
Next week the Greens will reintroduce their bill in the Senate to legislate against live exports.
Senator Rhiannon said: “Australians have not forgotten the horrific footage last year of cruelty inflicted upon cattle in Egypt that resulted in a halt to the export trade with that country.
“Regardless of any new framework, Australian cattle being sent to Egypt will still be killed in full inversion slaughter boxes which will tip them upside to have their throats cut, all while fully conscious.
“These boxes are illegal in Australia and other parts of the world because of the distress and suffering they cause. Yet the Australian Government has no qualms in condemning animals to this fate overseas in the name of profit.
“In 2006 the Egyptian trade was also suspended after video showed cattle being stabbed in the eyes and having their leg tendons slashed before slaughter. And the sheep trade to Egypt has been banned for years after some of the worst abuses against exported sheep were exposed, including sheep being tied to roof racks, trussed, thrown and stuffed into car boots.
“Minister Barnaby Joyce is looking after a few wealthy pastoralists ahead of jobs growth in regional 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 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.
“Egypt already takes Australian beef and sheep processed meat. Minister Joyce’s actions run counter to the work of the Meat and Livestock Association, which is actively working to increase meat exports to that country.
“The fact that record boxed lamb shipments were sent to the Middle East in the last fiscal year and that Bahrain has totally replaced Australian live sheep imports with the import of Australian meat shows that 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 .
“I know tens of thousands of Australians support an end to live exports and I hope that the Australian government acts on these concerns,” Senator Rhiannon said.
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