Ley de­mands end to live ex­ports

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - On The Land -

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.

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