Bill to end live ex­port

NSW MP Susan Ley will pro­pose bill next month

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News - Natalie Kot­sios news@ru­ral­weekly.com

RE­GIONAL Lib­eral MP Sus­san Ley will in­tro­duce a pri­vate mem­bers’ bill to end live sheep ex­ports.

Ms Ley plans to bring the bill for­ward next month, in the sit­ting week af­ter the fed­eral bud­get is handed down.

“Hav­ing been a farmer for 17 years, hav­ing rep­re­sented ru­ral Aus­tralia and sheep pro­duc­ers, I’ve got to say if I’m call­ing time on this in­dus­try, I think time is well and truly passed,” she told Sky News yes­ter­day.

It comes as the live ex­port in­dus­try took the ex­tra­or­di­nary step of back­ing the cre­ation of an in­spec­tor-gen­eral of an­i­mal wel­fare for ex­ported an­i­mals, mark­ing a ma­jor pol­icy shift for the in­dus­try.

Ms Ley, who rep­re­sents the coun­try NSW elec­torate of Far­rer, was the first Fed­eral Govern­ment min­is­ter to break ranks and call for the con­tro­ver­sial trade to be phased out, fol­low­ing the most re­cent live ex­ports scan­dal in which 2400 sheep died due to heat stress on a voy­age to the Mid­dle East.

Ms Ley said the bill would be aimed at live sheep ex­ports to the Mid­dle East only, which is ef­fec­tively all of Aus­tralia’s live sheep ex­port trade.

“I recog­nise this needs to be done in con­sul­ta­tion with farm­ers and in­dus­try, be­cause the farm­ers in my mind will al­ways come first,” she said.

“It’s not about re­mov­ing an av­enue of their liveli­hood, be­cause there are tran­si­tions that can be made in con­sul­ta­tion with the ru­ral sec­tor.”

Vic­to­rian Lib­eral MP Ja­son Wood has also called for an end to live ex­ports.

The Greens have said they would back Ms Ley’s bill.

“The Greens have been work­ing to end live ex­ports for years and we wel­come mem­bers from the ma­jor par­ties join­ing us in stand­ing up for an­i­mal wel­fare,” Greens MP for Mel­bourne Adam Bandt said.

How­ever Act­ing Prime Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack said the live ex­port trade still had a fu­ture in Aus­tralia.

“I don’t be­lieve we should ban the whole trade ho­lus bo­lus,” Mr McCor­mack told the Na­tional Press Club in Can­berra to­day.

“I do be­lieve in live an­i­mal ex­ports ... and I do see a fu­ture for it.

“It brings ex­port dol­lars into this coun­try, it cre­ates jobs, it cre­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Mr McCor­mack said if Aus­tralia with­drew from the trade, the gaps would be filled by other coun­tries with lesser an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards.

PHOTO: FILE/MEAD LEON

CON­CERN: Live sheep wait to be loaded onto an ex­port ship. Con­cerns for their wel­fare has led MP Sus­san Ley to in­tro­duce a bill to end live sheep ex­ports.

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