House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Live Animal Exports

1:39 pm

Photo of Sharon ClaydonSharon Claydon (Newcastle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to discuss an issue that is causing great distress to many in my community. In the past week I've received more than 100 contacts from constituents who are gravely worried that the Al Kuwait live export ship has been given a last-minute exemption to set sail. This decision from the government means that 50,000 sheep will now make the dangerous journey from Western Australia to Kuwait this Wednesday. This is despite the fact that a summertime ban on live exports to the Middle East kicked in more than two weeks ago now. This backflip is unfathomable and completely unjustified. But, regretfully, it's just the latest in a long string of catastrophic failures by this federal government to regulate the live animal export industry. We know how this story ends. Indeed, we saw it play out in horrific scenes of animal brutality on board the Awassi Express and on countless other voyages. Let's be clear: this is animal cruelty, pure and simple. It was right to instigate the summertime moratorium, and it's right to maintain that moratorium now. To my constituents in Newcastle, I make this promise: I will hold this government to account and demand that it uphold the moratorium and put a stop to the endless second chances afforded to an industry rife with examples of gross animal cruelty.