Author Topic: Government response to revelations of cruelty shows it 'doesn't give a toss'  (Read 2049 times)

WA Export News

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  Andrew Wilkie to put forward bill to end 'systematically cruel' live exports.  Government response to revelations of cruelty shows it 'doesn't give a toss' about animal welfare, says independent MP
The independent MP Andrew Wilkie is to put forward a bill to end the live export trade after claiming that the government's response to the latest revelations of cruelty shows it "doesn't give a toss" about animal welfare.

 Link to video: Animal cruelty video reignites live export debate   

Wilkie will table a private member's bill once parliament resumes to "wind up the trade after a few years" in light of a video showing Australian sheep being badly treated in Jordan.
The footage, shown by the ABC on Wednesday night, was shot by Animals Australia investigators during the Eid religious festival earlier in October. It shows sheep having their throats slit multiple times, with some animals being dragged along the ground and thrown into vehicles.
The Australian government has sought to downplay the prospect of a sweeping response to the video, with Tony Abbott claiming on Thursday it would be "foolish" for the government to make "policy on the run on the basis of one or two media reports".
"We support the live export industry, I want to make that crystal clear," Abbott said. "It's a good industry for our country, a good industry for our farmers and partners around the world. We aren't going to play games with our customers.
"That said, it's important that the industry proceed on a sound footing. The appropriate precautions have already been put in place. The footage is being investigated and we will ensure the rules, if they have been broken, will be enforced."
Abbott's comments echo those of the agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, who said earlier on Thursday that the government would not shut down the live export industry and that "incidents will occur from time to time".
The government's stance has angered Wilkie, who has long campaigned on the issue of animal cruelty and failed in a previous attempt to crackdown on the live export trade when scenes of similar cruelty emerged under the then Labor government.
"How many episodes of animal cruelty do we need before this government, or any government, does something about this?" he said.

"There's no doubt that Australia's live export animal trade is systematically cruel. There's no doubt that ending it has popular support.
"I'm appalled that we have another Australian government that doesn't give a toss about animal welfare."
Lyn White, the chief investigator at Animals Australia, told the ABC that 10,000 sheep had been subjected to cruelty in Jordan.
Jodie Jankevics, head of campaigns at the World Society for the Protection of Animals Australia, said: "We also want to work with the government to make sure that the cruelty stops and that a transition to a chilled meat trade is sought that will be more humane and worth more to the Australian economy.

"The cruelty that we keep seeing over and over again never ceases to be shocking.
"This time it's animals being subjected to rough handling, being thrown, transported in car boots and subject to some horrific slaughter practices. It's unacceptable, it's cruel and there is an alternative."