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Senate supports blocking live export of horses, donkeys and ponies for slaughter

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 15 Jun 2017
The Senate has passed a joint motion by Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon and Senator Derryn Hinch calling on the Turnbull government to ensure there will be no live export of equines for slaughter.
“We are concerned that the Turnbull government may open the door for the live export of horses, ponies and donkeys for slaughter. That would be a disaster,” Senator Rhiannon said. 
“Animal welfare groups have seen an exposure draft order that would legalise such live exports.
“Conditions on board live export ships are horrific, and exporters are unable to assure animal welfare standards in overseas feedlots and slaughterhouses. We need to be phasing out this industry, not opening it up.” 
The Senate has also backed a Greens motion for the draft order to be tabled by 20 June 2017.  The Greens will introduce their bill to end live exports into the Senate next week.
13 June 2017
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that – 
  1. The Senate recognises that 
    • On 24 March 2017 following trade talks between the Prime Minister and the Chinese Premier, Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce was widely reported as stating that if people want to edible donkey skins, Australia is going to provide them; 
    • The Department of Agriculture confirmed in May Senate Estimates it is working on ESCAS arrangements for horses, ponies and donkeys for the purposes of slaughter in the event an application for live export is lodged;
    • The Department has provided animal welfare groups with an exposure draft of information about the Export Control (Animals) Amendment (Equine Animals) Order 2017 for comment;
    • The Australian Livestock Exporters Council, the peak body of Australia’s current livestock export industry, has stated it and its members do not support the commencement of any trade in the live export of horses and donkeys from Australia for slaughter; and 
  2. The Senate calls on the government to heed community expectations and definitively ban the export of live horses, ponies and donkeys for slaughter.
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