Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Live Animal Exports
I, and also on behalf of Senator Back, move:
That the Senate recognises:
(a) recent comments to the media by Australian Cattle Veterinarians Association president, Dr Enoch Bergman, in support of Australia's live export trade;
(b) that Dr Bergman told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Rural on 11 February 2015 that Australia's participation in the live trade enabled it to influence animal welfare outcomes among destination nations: 'if Australia were to be removed from that conversation those cattle would be sourced elsewhere. Our role would be supplanted, and I think we're well engaged to actually influence welfare outcomes where those animals land'; and
(c) That the Australian Cattle Veterinarians Association is a sub section of the Australian Veterinary Association and reports on the welfare of sheep and cattle.
This motion misleads the Senate and should be withdrawn. The Australian Veterinary Association and the Australian Cattle Veterinarians group have distanced themselves from suggestions that they support the live export industry. They have stated in their media release:
This is not accurate. We do not support or oppose the live export industry. Rather, we emphasise that while the trade continues, high animal welfare standards should be maintained and enforced.
Senators Back and O'Sullivan have got it wrong again. Their assertion that Australia's live export trade inspires positive change in the importing countries is an absurdity. Australia sends animals to some countries with the worst animal welfare records in the world. The Greens reiterate the call to support the transition to chilled meat exports, which grows more Australian jobs and boosts our regional economies.
I would invite Senator Rhiannon to look carefully at the motion because it relates to a specific individual who is quoted as having made a statement. That individual stands by his statement and there is no reference to him making the statement in a particular capacity. It is in relation to his own capacity.
Question agreed to.