Author Topic: FEDERAL Labor calling for export licenses of some companies to be suspended  (Read 3026 times)

WA Export News

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FEDERAL Labor calling for export licenses of some companies to be suspended
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 09:19:09 AM »
Look at suspending live exporters: Labor

FEDERAL Labor is calling for the export licenses of some livestock companies to be suspended while investigations are carried out into a shocking case of animal cruelty in the Middle East.

Footage has emerged of Australian cattle being tortured in Gaza, with the most disturbing images showing a bound animal being stabbed in the eye and another knee-capped with bullets from an assault rifle.

  Cattle being tortured in Gaza. height=237   Independent MP Andrew Wilkie says footage of Australian cattle being tortured in Gaza is shocking. Source: AAP
The images have reignited calls for the live export trade to be abolished, as parliamentarians from across the political divide come together to demand better animal welfare standards.

Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said he had viewed the footage and found it "confronting" and "distressing".

"The footage ... has the very great potential to undermine public confidence in what is a very, very important industry for this country," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry had been investigating the alleged breach of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme since November.

But the investigation is not likely to conclude this year, and Mr Fitzgibbon called on the department to issue "show cause" notices to the companies allegedly involved.

This would require them to demonstrate why their licence should not be suspended until the investigation is over.

Suspending the licences would send notice to all those who work in the industry that the government and the community would not allow indiscretions to occur, Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the footage showed extreme cruelty and shattered the myth that Australia could influence better animal welfare standards overseas.

"These animals have been subjected to cruelty that is hard to believe," she told reporters.

It was time for chilled-box meat exports to replace the live export trade, she added.

Nationals MP Andrew Broad said "in the real world" there is a demand for live animals in developing countries, and Australia is always trying to lift animal welfare standards.

He dismissed Labor suggestions that exporters should have their licenses reviewed in the wake of this scandal, saying the opposition had a poor track record when it came to the live animal trade.

"They nearly shut down northern Australia," he said, referring to Labor's 2011 temporary suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia.

"They haven't got a lot of credibility in that area."

  •   AAP 
  • December 12, 2013
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 09:20:48 AM by WA Export News »