Australia: ‘Greens up ante on ban of live animal exports’

Posted on November 13, 2012


Today (13th November), Animals Australia re-posted a news item on their web-site titled ‘Greens up ante on ban of live animal exports’.

‘… THE Greens are increasing the pressure on the Gillard government to shut down the live export trade, releasing a position paper today that proposes a five-point plan for a transition from the $1 billion trade to domestic meat processing.

The recommendations include removing international”trade distortions” by ending subsidies and tariffs that favour the export of Australian cattle and sheep, and establishing government offices dedicated to building chilled meat markets overseas.

The paper also suggests increasing skills funding to help attract and train meat processing workers, and providing financial incentives to assist the opening of abattoirs in northern Australia in a “staged fashion”.

The Greens, along with Labor backbenchers, unions and animal activists have all called for a transition to domestic meat processing, saying the cull of 21,000 sheep shows animal welfare cannot be guaranteed under the government’s new closed supply chain system.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig established the new animal welfare regulations last year after temporarily shutting the live cattle trade to Indonesia.

Greens animal welfare spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon said the public was distressed over live export cruelty and the government needed to respond properly rather than just hold “half-baked inquiries”.

She said she had sought a meeting with Senator Ludwig to discuss the position paper.

“These key issues are critical to ending the live export trade and hopefully the Labor caucus will consider them before parliament resumes,” she told The Australian yesterday. “I am particularly interested in feedback from farmers and in December I am visiting northern Australian cattle producers in Western Australia as part of this process.”

Senator Rhiannon said “growing domestic meat processing for local and export markets” would reduce animal cruelty inherent in the live export trade while boosting Australia’s economy and assisting farmers.

The paper identifies five key issues that the government must address to end live exports.

It states that live exports are heavily subsidised by some importing countries in the Middle East while some impose a 5 per cent tariff on imported frozen and chilled meat …’

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