Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Australia restricts live sheep exports, but no Middle East ban

Sussan Ley will continue to push for a ban on live sheep exports Sussan Ley will continue to push for a ban on live sheep exports
Steven Clarke | 17 May, 2018, 18:31

Companies face fines of over $4 million, and directors either 10 years jail or $2 million dollars.

"Both the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA have made it very clear that on the science the live sheep trade to the Middle East in those hot summer months and community expectations on animal welfare standards are not reconcilable", Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said.

Sussan Ley will continue to push for a ban on live sheep exports.

"We saw the devastating effects of the ban on the livestock industry in 2011 and those effects were widespread", Fiona Simson, president of the National Farmers Federation, told reporters in Canberra.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is rejecting calls to ban the industry, saying the new safeguards go far enough.

The Government has accepted all 23 recommendations of the review and will also impose harsh penalties for exporters who break the rules.

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. Among other measures, an independent regulator, with investigative power, will oversee the sector.

NASA's MarCO-B CubeSat Captures Earth-Moon Image
MarCO-B - nicknamed Wall-E by spacecraft engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory - acquired this image on May 9, 2018. The image helped mission engineers confirm that the spacecraft's high-gain antenna had unfolded properly.

Video images taken a year ago showed heat-stricken sheep crammed together in small, stifling pens and covered in excrement, shocking the Australian public when it was released by animal activists in April. (60 Minutes) The government has been slammed for its response today.

The spokeswoman said Gulf countries prefer importing livestock for religious reasons and the costs of transport, predicting chilled meats "will never be an alternative to live sheep in the region".

"We'll make sure there is a sustainable live trade industry into the future", Mr Littleproud says. We've laid a foundation.

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

Animals Australia's Lyn White said it was a "lily-livered" government response created to protect exporters, not animals.

"Good luck convincing an outraged Australian public that putting 40,000 sheep through the horrors of heat stress instead of 60,000 is acceptable government policy".

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