Monday, 3 December 2018
Labor supports the motion and urges the current Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, to review the Greyhound Passport Scheme and to assist those in the greyhound industry who are wanting to ensure the animal welfare of greyhounds is being addressed. Greyhounds Australasia itself has introduced a passport scheme which requires compliance to prevent greyhounds being exported to countries that do not meet Australian animal standards. However, Greyhounds Australasia can only impose the passport scheme on its own members. Nonmembers are not currently legally required to comply and may choose to export their dogs to countries with poor animal welfare standards.
All of us in this place know that the former agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, undermined animal welfare standards through his reckless actions in abolishing the Animal Welfare Strategy in 2013 and ignoring issues such as the requirement of a passport number before the export of greyhounds can occur. The Australian community expect action on this matter.
Hundreds of Australian greyhounds were exported to be raced to death in Macau. This is Australia's shame. With the closure of the Canidrome, hundreds of Australian greyhounds have been rescued and are awaiting rehoming. It's time the government took responsibility for their role in this disgusting chapter and helped these groups desperately working to save these really gentle animals. At the moment, there is nothing to stop this travesty from happening again. While I think we should ban greyhound racing altogether, stopping the export of dogs to countries with no animal welfare standards is one of the very rare things that I agree with the greyhound racing industry on. Animals are not property to be abused for profit. They are living, sentient beings, and we will not stop fighting for them.