Live sheep exports are a cruel and inhumane trade.
The community has spoken and now the Senate has acted to end live exports to the Middle East.
It is time for the government to allow the House of Representatives to debate the legislation, which I co-sponsored, immediately and vote it into law.
The community declared its opposition in light of the recent revelations about the conditions suffered by sheep en route to the Middle East. No animal deserves to be treated with such cruelty.
There is a moral dimension to the legislation, requiring live exporters to adhere to the Code for the Transport of Animals by Sea established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
More than 5,000 South Australians have contacted me directly to demand an end to the trade.
Recent polling by the RSPCA found that 4 out of 5 South Australians want to end live exports. Nationwide the figure is 3 out of 4, notably including almost 7 out of every 10 Australians in rural and country areas.
This measure is fair and responsible. It gives exporters and producers five years to make the transition from live sheep to boxed lamb.
Sales of boxed lamb to the Middle East are on the rise. The live sheep trade is in decline.
According to Pegasus Economics, South Australia’s live sheep exports are worth just one-twentieth of the chilled sheep meat trade, $23m compared with $500m. Nationwide, chilled sheep meat exports are 11 times more valuable than the live sheep trade.
Not only would the shift to boxed lamb be more humane, it would enhance economic value to currently under-utilised abattoirs in South Australia, adding value and creating jobs.
For further details contact Jim Middleton 0418 627066 or Nino Miletovic 0478 846603