Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Live Animal Exports
That the Senate—
(a) notes that the 2011 Gillard Government decision to suspend live exports:
(i) gravely affected the live export industry, and
(ii) was declared invalid by the Federal Court earlier in June; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to rule out appealing the Federal Court’s decision.
Our country's live exporters have no greater friend than this Liberal-National government. The government sympathises with the sentiment behind this motion. Labor's decision to ban the live export trade caused enormous and unwarranted damage to the industry and individuals. The industry needs and deserves stability and predictability. The Federal Court's decision in the Brett Cattle Company case was handed down on Tuesday 2 June 2020. No decision on the future of the litigation will be made until sometime after the scheduled court hearing to make final orders in the matter, including orders for damages. That hearing is set down for 29 June 2020. Given the risk that this decision could actually establish a precedent that could be weaponised against the live export industry, the responsible course of action is for the government to seek further advice before making determinations with respect to the future of this litigation.
Let's be clear. The live export industry is based on animal cruelty, on animal misery, on blood soaked supply chains, but this government do not give a damn. They have just given an exemption for 50,000 sheep to be sent off to the extreme heat of the northern summer where they will face immense heat stress and they will be at risk of death. You make a mockery of your own rules. You should be ashamed. You don't care about animal welfare. The so-called independence of the department of agriculture is a farce. It's a joke. Ban live export. Shut it down!
Labor will not be supporting the motion. The shadow minister for agriculture has made it clear that Labor acknowledges and respects the court's decision. Further, the matter is still subject to legal proceedings and the government must always act in the national interest.