Senate debates

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Regulations and Determinations

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Live-stock to Egypt) Repeal Order 2014; Disallowance

1:40 pm

Photo of Don FarrellDon Farrell (SA, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC) Share this | Hansard source

The opposition welcomes the recommencement of the livestock trade with Egypt, which has been welcomed by producers and the live export industry. Labor strongly supports the almost $1 billion live export sector. The recommencement of trade to Egypt has only been possible through ESCAS, which the Labor government put in place. It is interesting that each time the minister talks about the opening of a new market he praises the ESCA System. It also important that there is a continued effort to build public confidence in the live export trade.

While in government Labor had proposed to build further on the ESCA System. This government has not proceeded with Labor's proposals, in particular for the establishment of a new independent inspector-general of animal welfare and live exports. Furthermore, one of the first acts of the new government was to abolish the Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee on 8 November 2013.

Over 10,000 men and women work in the livestock sector. Livestock exports are an important trade for Australia, and the opposition is committed to supporting that live trade. Live exports not only underpin jobs across the nation but also support higher cattle and sheep prices, which deliver fairer returns at the farm gate. Australia now has arguably the strictest system in the world to ensure that our exported sheep and cattle are treated as humanely as possible. We are the only one of 100 countries that export livestock that seeks to ensure international animal welfare standards are met throughout the entire supply chain. If successful, this disallowance motion would remove the ability for the government to apply ESCAS in the Egyptian market.


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