Mar 22, 2011
Growing opposition to the live export trade has led to parliamentary discussion of its impact. A private members motion was introduced yesterday by Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, who called for a transition away from live exports towards a chilled meat trade.
WSPA Campaign Manager Jessica Borg was in Canberra to support the motion and told media: “It’s disappointing that Government policy currently supports an industry that has a long history of horrific animal welfare abuse. Just months ago I saw for myself the absolute brutal treatment our animals continue to face in this region.”
The common argument that the industry is significantly improving animal welfare was heard once again during the debate – an argument that is rejected by WSPA and other animal welfare groups. Undercover investigations continue to show that international live exports cannot be done humanely. What’s more, independent research shows that the chilled meat trade is a viable, more humane alternative.
During the debate Ms Saffin also highlighted the inherent risk, particularly for farmers, of a trade that is vulnerable to the demands of the importing countries. She reported further concerns from the meat processing industry and the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) that the diversion of Australian sheep to overseas markets is compromising rural employment and economic growth here in Australia.
The motion was strongly supported by five other Federal MPs, including Labor MP Jill Hall, who argued that the live export industry would never be logical or ethical.
WSPA Campaign Manager Jessica Borg is delighted that the issue is being discussed at this level: ‘It’s the first time we‘ve seen a member of this Government raising live exports as an issue to be debated via a motion. This is a real step towards our ultimate goal of ending the cruelty of live exports. Support for a review of the industry is continuing to grow and cannot be ignored. We’re looking forward to seeing more debates like this one.”
You can help escalate live exports on the political agenda. Visit www.humanechain.org today, send a letter to your MP and encourage them to get involved in the debate.