Liberal MP to push for live export ban, despite review

Ceria Alfonso
May 17, 2018

A spokeswoman for the Kuwaiti embassy told Fairfax Media that phasing out live exports to the Middle East completely or during the summer months would jeopardise the food supply in the region.

What is the good of a potential $4.2 million fine on a company or a 10 year jail term for a company director if the legislation is never invoked?

Australia will require ships carrying live cattle and sheep exports to have an independent observer to ensure welfare standards, after 2,400 sheep died from heat stress, sparking calls for a ban on the A$1.3 billion industry.

The government rejected a complete ban on live exports "as it would cause too much damage to the country's agricultural sector", Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Thursday.

Under the government's changes, sheep will be given up to 39 per cent more space on ships.

Countless sheep died on the ship headed for the Middle East a year ago.

A review into the trade, ordered after 60 Minutes aired vision of appalling conditions aboard a ship heading to the Middle East, made 23 recommendations the government will adopt.

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Promises by Mr Littleproud of a reduction in the number of sheep being crammed aboard the stinking, heaving, manure-raddled stock transports and pledges to "improve" their non-existent ventilation are a token attempt to persuade the public heat stress, and a record of mass deaths that spans nearly 40 years, is being addressed. (60 Minutes) The government has been slammed for its response today.

"This is about setting a new course for live exports".

Mr Littleproud, who will shortly travel to the Gulf for meetings on the future of the industry, said the government was "aware of the importance of not disrupting food security in partner nations".

"We don't intend to stop here".

Liberal MP Susan Ley will introduce a Private Members Bill to ban live exports, and Labor has announced it would phase out the trade.

And the reportable mortality rate will be halved from two to one percent.

Lyn White, director of strategy for Animals Australia, said instead of backing the science the government was allowing the industry to "inflict further suffering".

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