Ley demands end to live exports
Sussan Ley has broken ranks with her government and is demanding it shut down Australia’s live sheep export industry.
The Member for Farrer has ignored her government’s support of the trade and said it was time to end the ‘ships of shame’.
The latest outcry against live export has been sparked by another TV documentary using secret video from a ship travelling to the Mediterranean in 2017.
It showed 2400 sheep dying on the trip. Ms Ley wants a sunset strategy introduced with a fixed closure date.
However, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has confirmed under the current government there would be no ban.
Instead he has announced a veterinarianled review in the next few months and commissioned an audit of his own department.
Ms Ley last Thursday, April 19 advised Minister Littleproud of her intention to introduce a Private Members Bill, with the aim of setting a date to phase out all live sheep export to the Middle East.
“I absolutely recognise any cessation of this trade will need to be done in consultation with producers and the wider industry,” Ms Ley said.
“Having been a farmer, and represented rural Australia and sheep producers for 17 years, their interests will always come first.
“With cross party support, my Bill intends to amend up to three different Acts and associated regulations, so as to logically and effectively phase out live sheep exports to this part of the world.
“I want to stress, again, this move does not seek to halt or alter the short-haul export of live cattle to our traditional Southeast Asian markets
“Tastes are changing in Middle Eastern nations. There is no fixed, firm demand for live sheep – our exporters are already sending significant numbers of sheep carcasses and boxed lamb to the region.
“While Minister Littleproud has taken firm steps since the latest heartbreaking footage was made public – and I commend him for doing so - the level of outrage in the community indicates ‘enough is enough’.
“Enough inquiries, enough of introducing more layers of regulation. It is time to admit the export of these animals, over that length of time, in those conditions, is impossible to fix.
“Let’s show the humanity that is needed here and set an end date by which we permanently cease live sheep exports from this country,” she said.