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Time to end live export trade - a win-win to reduce cruelty, boost local jobs

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 6 Apr 2018

Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Turnbull government to end the live animal export trade after the death of 2400 Australian sheep.

The sheep died in August last year in extreme heat stress aboard a ship on route from Perth to Doha in Qatar. 

“Time and again the cruelty of the live export trade has been proven, with this latest mass death another shocking example with sheep effectively being cooked alive,” Senator Rhiannon said

“These latest deaths represent another failure of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System that the government makes out enforces rules on the live export trade.

“Calls today from the opposition to tighten the rules is no solution. It is time to end this horrific practice and transition the industry to processing livestock in Australia and expanding Australia’s trade in boxed, chilled meat. The place to start is banning the live export of sheep.

"Successive economic reports confirm processing the meat in Australia would create thousands of jobs and boost regional economies. The live sheep export trade is a small and diminishing trade that most farmers do not rely on for their main income.

“Last year I stood on the steps of Parliament alongside officials from the meatworkers union and live export whistle-blower and veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson as I introduced the Greens bill to phase out live animal exports. 

“How many times can we witness mass deaths of Australian livestock before the Turnbull government acts on animal welfare?

“Despite horrific example after horrific example, the Australian government has so far failed to address the inherent cruelty in live exports and end this trade. 

“Ending the live export trade and supporting the domestic meat processing trade will not only reduce animal cruelty, but it will create local jobs and boost local economies and protect our chilled meat market reputation. It’s a win-win.

“At the May Budget Estimates I will question the Department on the deaths of these animals. 

“This is further proof that the welfare of exported animals cannot be managed from a desk in Canberra,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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