Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers
Live Animal Exports
That the Senate take note of the answer given by Senator Ruston to a question without notice asked by Senator Faruqi today relating to animal welfare and live exports.
I rise to take note of the government's woeful response to my questions about the total lack of concern for the welfare of animals in the live export trade, and the failure to establish an independent office of animal welfare. The live export industry has been plagued by scandals for decades, and people right across Australia have had enough. They want it to stop. The scathing 2018 Moss review into regulation of the live export industry exposed that the Department of Agriculture lacks the skills, resources, technology, culture that will be effective in regulating the industry. The department cannot possibly promote the live export industry and its profitability and, at the same time, protect animals.
We know that, as long as the Department of Agriculture is allowed to regulate the live export industry, animals will continue to suffer, will continue to die on these ships of misery. It should not be left up to whistleblowers and grassroots animal advocates to uncover the industry's crimes and hold exporters to account. The only way to begin to fix our broken animal protection system is to establish a truly independent authority with responsibility for animal welfare.
Since elected in 2013, the Liberal-Nationals government has done nothing to improve animal welfare. Worse, instead of holding abusive industries to account, they grant exemptions for animal cruelty. It is pathetic for this government to claim to be shocked and appalled whenever the routine abuse of animals is exposed, to cry your crocodile tears and then return to business as usual when you think the scandal has passed. By the time this ship carrying tens of thousands of sheep reaches its destination, thousands of sheep would have suffered inevitable heat stress. Do your job for once. Ban live exports and establish an independent office of animal welfare.
Question agreed to.