Author Topic: Labor MP calls for live animal export ban  (Read 620 times)

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Labor MP calls for live animal export ban
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 05:20:03 PM »
FEDERAL Labor backbencher Kelvin Thomson, addressing more than one thousand protesters at a rain-drenched rally in Melbourne, has called on his government colleagues to ban live animal exports.    

On a day of protest around the country, the Melbourne and Sydney rallies each attracted about one thousand people, while hundreds turned out in the other capitals.

"No ban, no vote, get animals off the boat," the crowd chanted outside Victoria's Parliament House on Saturday.

In a colourful Sydney protest, banners were emblazoned with messages including "Come on Julia, don't be a chicken" and "Stop the animal holocaust".

National GetUp director Sam McLean told the crowd in Sydney's Martin Place that the animal welfare movement was the most powerful grassroots movement in Australia.

Closest to home for the federal government was Mr Thomson's continuing urgent call for the banning of further livestock shipments to Bahrain or Pakistan until further notice.

The renewed calls for an end to the live animal export trade follow allegations that about half of 21,000 Australian sheep offloaded in Pakistan last month - after being rejected by Bahrain - were clubbed, stabbed and buried alive.

Mr Thomson told the Melbourne rally it was "absolutely unacceptable that Bahrain and Pakistan can ignore the memorandums of understanding which they have entered into as a condition of entering the export trade".

He said regulations must be implemented for the mandatory stunning of animals before slaughter, while the live animal export trade is phased out and replaced with domestic processing.

He called for the establishment of an independent animal welfare office and said it was clear that regulations introduced by his colleagues in the Gillard government were not working.

"(There should be) transition out of the live animal export trade altogether," Mr Thomson said.

"We should establish the abattoirs and domestic processing facilities here in Australia. New Zealand has done it - it works perfectly well for them, we can do this too."

Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White, whose filming of practices in Indonesian abattoirs led to a month-long ban on the live cattle trade to that country, told the Melbourne protesters to send a message to their local candidates before the next federal election.

They should tell them they wouldn't have support unless they ended the live animal export trade.

"There is a divine wind at our back," Ms White told the cheering crowd. "We will prevail. We will end live exports."

The Australian Greens have reintroduced a bill into parliament calling for the ban of live animal exports.

Greens' MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt said the only solution to end the inhumane treatment of animals was to ban live exports.

"It is folly to believe that once we let these animals leave our shore we can have any control over how they are treated," Mr Bandt said.

Mr McLean told the Sydney protest that GetUp's petition against live export was the largest in the country, having attracted 350,000 signatures and more than $500,000 donated to the cause this year.

"When I look at this movement there is no doubt that we are on the path to ending live exports in this country forever," he said.

About 350 people attended the Brisbane rally, where protesters carried placards with slogans including "Australia their blood is on your hands".

About 200 turned out in Canberra, while organisers said other rallies in Hobart, Fremantle and Adelaide were also well supported.
  • by:  By Melissa Jenkins, Roje Adaimy and Miranda Forster 
  • From:  AAP 
  • October 06, 2012
http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/breaking-news/labor-mp-calls-for-live-animal-export-ban/story-e6frg13c-1226489706085