JAIL FOR SHEEP BREACHES
LIVE sheep exporters could be jailed for up to 10 years if they breach tough new rules in a dramatic overhaul of the controversial trade.
A review of live sheep exports has recommended a major reduction of the animals on ships, and more space for them on ships leaving Australian ports.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud stopped short of banning the trade after horrific footage emerged of sheep dying on a voyage to the Middle East.
The Turnbull Government now faces an election campaign on the issue with Labor vowing to gradually phase out the industry.
Mr Littleproud adopted all recommendations of veterinarian Michael McCarthy’s review, including tougher penalties for companies breaking rules.
“No sane human being would see animal cruelty as something they would accept,” Mr Littleproud said.
Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chairman Simon Crean said exporters acknowledged there were serious questions about the ethics of the trade.
“The footage demonstrated a critical failure by our industry to meet community expectations,” he said.
Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said it would stop the trade during summer at the first opportunity.