Live Animal Exports
The community overwhelmingly supports a ban on live animal exports with seven out of ten in the country opposing the live sheep trade. Multiple reviews have shown that the live animal export trade suffers from maladministration and with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources not fit to regulate the live sheep trade.
Revelations about the mistreatment and conditions suffered by sheep en-route to the Middle East have sparked outrage in the community and highlighted the need for an independent body to oversee this process.
One of the key recommendations of the Productivity Commission was the establishment of the Australian Commission for Animal Welfare which would look at the “efficiency and effectiveness of the livestock export system”. Had this taken place the worst excesses of the live sheep trade exposed earlier this year may have been curtailed and the cruelty to animals reduced.
Live sheep export is a small fraction, accounting for $250million of the 5 billion sheep-meat industry according to industry body meat and livestock Australia. The live sheep trade to the Middle East is in decline both in numbers and value, while sales of processed lamb are rising rapidly. A report prepared by Pegasus Economics found the number of live sheep being exported from WA had fallen by more than two-thirds since the turn of the century to fewer than two million a year and now account for just 11.7% of sheep sales.
I have strongly advocated for an end to this cruel and inhumane practice and gained majority support for a Senate motion calling on the government to establish the Australian Commission for Animal Welfare.
I have also been advocating for a ban on cosmetic animal testing since entering the Senate, including co-sponsoring a motion and amendments which eventually led to the Government’s commitment in February 2019 as part of the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017. I was pleased the Government committed to further funding the development and uptake of non-animal testing methods.
Actions So Far
Banning Live Exports Speech