Author Topic: Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2012 introduced into Parliament  (Read 940 times)

WA Export News

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Cobb slams live-ex bill.

 THE Greens' reintroduction of a Bill to ban live animal exports is nothing but a political point-scoring and grandstanding opportunity, according to Shadow Federal Agriculture Minister John Cobb.

The Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2012 was introduced into the Senate last week.

It arrived as Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig and Trade Minister Craig Emerson were in Jakarta along with live export industry members and farming groups, for high level talks with senior Indonesian economic, trade and agricultural officials.

The discussions aim to strengthen the live trade’s future by continuing to fine-tune the new supply chain assurance scheme that’s underpinned by more stringent animal welfare standards, with tracking and auditing systems.

But Mr Cobb said he believes the Greens' proposed legislation is expected to suffer the same fate as other recent attempts to ban the trade.

That includes a proposal from Independent MP Andrew Wilkie in the House of Representatives last August that aimed to phase the trade out by mid-2014 but was only was only supported by Mr Wilkie and lone Green MP Adam Bandt.

In turn, Mr Wilkie also supported Mr Bandt for a vote on legislation raised by the Greens at the same time, to ban the trade immediately.

The two MP’s cut lonely figures as the government, opposition and other independents voted against them, including the outspoken Labor backbenchers who opposed the live export trade and played a leading hand in the Indonesian market’s closure last June, which saw $100 million in emergency assistance and compensation directed towards the crippled Australian industry, by the Federal government.

In introducing the latest Bill last week, Greens Senator and animal spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said the live animal export trade was “cruel, inhuman and immoral and the vast majority of Australians want it shut down”.

Senator Rhiannon said the Greens’ Bill would put an immediate end to the “horrific treatment” of Australian livestock in overseas abattoirs.

“Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig would like to think the debate is over but serious cracks in the government’s export chain assurance system show that the safeguards are not up to the task,” she said.

“Since the live export trade with Indonesia resumed, cattle have been slaughtered at 62 different abattoirs across Indonesia, 12 of which do not practice pre-slaughter stunning.

“It is madness to think that each of these abattoirs can be monitored adequately and enforcement action taken.”

But Mr Cobb said the Greens were showing blatant disregard for animal welfare around the world in calling for the trade’s demise.

He said Australia’s involvement and partnerships in the live export markets where it traded cattle to, generated positive outcomes for animal welfare throughout the world.

“The less we are involved in the live trade the worse off animal welfare is around the globe but the Greens don’t seem to get that,” he said.

Mr Cobb said that of the 109 countries exporting animals live around the world, Australia deserved recognition for being the only one that invested in animal welfare outcomes and worked in detailed partnerships, once the cattle were unloaded at export destinations.

Australian Live Exporters Council CEO Alison Penfold said the fate of the Greens Bill was up to the Federal parliament to decide.

But she said similar legislation - raised by the Greens and others to end the trade in recent times – hadn’t been supported by the parliament.

In backing her calls for the trade’s closure, Senator Rhiannon said thousands of jobs could be created by increased domestic processing of meat.

“Jobs in the meat processing industry in Australia dropped from between 40,000 to 48,000 workers in the 1970s to around 32,000 workers in 2009,” she said.

“ACIL Tasman’s 2009 review into live sheep trade found that phasing out live sheep exports would have long term benefits for farmers and the economy.

“The public chorus against the live export trade is only getting louder.

“This Bill gives the government has another opportunity to redress the wrongs which have appalled so many Australians.”

27 Mar, 2012