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Call for Labor to back Greens bill to end live sheep exports

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 7 May 2018

The end to live sheep exports within two years is now within reach if Labor and the cross bench back the Greens bill to transition out of live animal exports within 2 years.

The Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long‑haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018 will be introduced into parliament next week and sets out a two year transition plan to achieve a complete prohibition on the export of live sheep by long-haul sea voyages.

Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said “The Greens welcome Labor’s change of heart on live sheep exports but there is no need to wait until the next election to act.”

“With the support of Labor and 3 crossbench members in the Senate; and then two Liberal members and all independents in the house we could see an end to this cruel and heartless trade within two years.”

“If Labor comes on board to fast track this legislation we give certainty to farmers, end the cruelty and create thousands of jobs in regional Australia,”  

“This transition is ready to start now. The processing plants in Western Australia have the capacity to handle all the sheep that are currently exported as part of the live sheep trade.

Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said “Animal welfare organisations, the meatworkers’ union and other stakeholders have already begun the work of planning for a transition and the subsequent expansion of our domestic chilled meat industry.

“This plan can also be a huge win for meat workers and their families. There are 8000 unemployed and under employed workers who are looking for secure jobs. Labor should be working with all parties committed to ending the trade and building up the boxed, chilled sheep meat trade.

“The Greens are working with MPs across the political spectrum to introduce a co-sponsored Bill to phase out the live sheep export trade. A transition plan across two years is clearly achievable. If Labor were to support this Bill there would be no need to wait until the election, we could get it passed in the coming months.

“Animals Australia and the RSPCA today offered to contribute $500,000 each to a structural adjustment package for sheep producers to assist with a transition out of the live sheep export trade. This shows that the issue of live exports is moving quickly, and the Australian public wants results.

“The Greens are committed to working with animal welfare organisations, MPs and other stakeholders to transition Australian out of the live sheep export trade and into the boxed, chilled meat trade as soon as possible.

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