Agriculture Minister Senator Jo Ludwig should be ready to impose greater government control over monitoring and regulating the live export industry, said Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon following reports that the Australian Beef Association will move to wind up Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) at MLA’s AGM this Thursday.
“Senator Ludwig is now on notice that MLA is walking on thin ice. The Federal government need to be ready to step up and play a much greater regulatory role of to ensure animal welfare standards are met in the live export industry,” said Senator Rhiannon.
“Even if MLA survives this Thursday’s AGM, it will be a seriously weakened and discredited body operating without the confidence of many of its members.
“There is widespread public concern that MLA took a softly softly approach in the face of mounting evidence of animal cruelty and that it sees animal welfare concerns as bad stories to be managed rather than genuine problems to be tackled head on.
“The federal government has been funding live animal export research dollar-for-dollar with MLA but MLA has had the final say over which research gets the go ahead.
“Research decisions and monitoring of animal welfare standards should sit with the government, not be shunted off to third party industry bodies.
“MLA’s AGM this week should be a trigger point for Senator Ludwig to put the government back in the driver’s seat when it comes to monitoring and regulating live animal exports," said Senator Rhiannon.