A bill to end live sheep exports, co-sponsored by three crossbench Senators, has been introduced for debate in the Senate today.
The Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018 is cosponsored by Senators Lee Rhiannon, Derryn Hinch and Tim Storer.
Greens animal welfare and rights spokesperson Senator Rhiannon said, “Our priority in preparing this particular Bill has been to end the shocking cruelty that tens of thousands of sheep must endure when they are exported for overseas slaughter.
“We have been working closely with animal welfare organisations, the meat workers’ union and other stakeholders to create a transition plan that is better for animals, better for Australian workers and better for farmers and local economies.
“This Bill sets out a framework to transition over five years away from the very worst of the live export sea voyages.
“In introducing this Bill we are acting on the wishes of the majority of Australians who want to end the live export trade. An independent poll, commissioned by RSPCA Australia and conducted this year found that three in four Australians demand an end to live exports.
“The bill prohibits immediately sea shipments of live lambs or sheep to or through any place in the Persian Gulf or Red Sea both during the worst of the baking northern hemisphere summer months of July, August and September and if the voyage is 10 days or more.
“After a five year transition period, the bill prohibits absolutely all live sheep and lamb long-haul ship voyages to or through the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea regardless of the time of year or the length of voyage.
“This allows plenty of time for governments to support a transition package as has been done in the past for other dying industries.
“The trade must end, as we know attempting to regulate the trade has failed time and time again. That individual exporters are profiteering from the profound suffering that is the live export trade is unacceptable enough, but let us not forget that successive Australian governments have explicitly supported and facilitated this continuing cruelty that if it occurred in Australia would see local farmers prosecuted and possibly imprisoned,” Senator Rhiannon said.