Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will again today call for an end to live animal exports amid fears the Department of Agriculture is poised to reduce the prohibition period on the export of sheep to the Middle East and South Asia during their blistering summer.
“Later this month the Department of Agriculture will complete a regulatory review into live sheep export, deciding whether to reduce the number of days live export ships are prohibited from travelling to certain locations during the blistering northern hemisphere summer,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Disappointingly, draft recommendations from the review reduce the prohibition period on summer sailings, which would be an astounding move after the terrible ministerial decision to grant an exemption for the Al Kuwait to sail in 2020. Remember tens of thousands of Australians sheep suffered terribly on that voyage. It was animal cruelty on steroids.
“At the very least we should not export live sheep to the Middle East and South Asia during their scorching conditions between May and November. But more to the point this vile trade should be banned outright. That’s why I’ve introduced bills to end the live export trade many times, and each time my office is flooded with calls from across the country from people who agree.
“There’s no doubt that the live export trade lacks community support, not least because it’s been proven time and time again that the industry’s systematically cruel and not in Australia’s economic best interests. Hence this latest cynical move to reduce the summer sailing ban is unquestionably cruel and unnecessary, much like the live export trade itself.”