House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Live Animal Exports

1:36 pm

Photo of Libby CokerLibby Coker (Corangamite, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Hundreds of voters from across Corangamite have contacted me deploring live sheep exports. Labor supports the phasing out of this trade. It is cruel and we would be far better processing and exporting the meat here in Australia. The department has granted an exemption for Al Kuwait to sail into the northern summer with 50,000 sheep. This is despite having regulations in place that ban summer sailing from 1 June. The RSPCA has condemned the decision, saying:

… the government has swung the risk pendulum back in favour of economic interests over animal welfare.

This is a government that runs a protection racket for an incompetent and cruel industry. Two years ago we all saw the video of conditions so hot that 2,400 sheep literally melted on board one of these death ships as it reached the gulf, exactly what the summer sailing ban was designed to address. Our agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said at the time:

Labor sees a bright future for meat processing … a better future for farmers, but Labor sees no future for live sheep exports.

In 2108 some Liberals bleated loudly about a private member's bill to phase out the trade, but the government made sure it never saw the light of day. My constituents who are concerned about this cruel trade shouldn't let the coalition pull the wool over their eyes. I will support you as we continue to advocate for both a total ban on live sheep exports and more processing here in Australia.