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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, moved an amendment to the Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports Amendment (Animal Welfare) Bill 2023 to provide stronger protections for animals. Please see above video for full speech.

“For too long Australia has been responsible for an animal welfare crisis,” Mr Wilkie said. “While much of this crisis is historically and constitutionally the responsibility of the state and territory governments, it can be seen in many industries including but not limited to cattle, sheep, aquaculture, poultry, pigs, the breeding of dogs and cats, and where the gambling industry intersects with thoroughbred horseracing, steeplechasing, harness racing and greyhound racing.

“Moreover the systemic cruelty in the live animal export trade also continues, with the export of sheep to the Middle East and beef cattle worldwide exemplifying the worst of animal abuse. This is clearly the Federal Government’s responsibility to fix.

“My amendment calls on the Federal Government to establish a genuinely independent office of animal welfare which will work with state and territory governments to develop policies and be a leader to ensure all animals are treated humanely and with dignity.

“It will also require the development of a much-improved legal framework to ensure that beef cattle and sheep are treated ethically during all stages of the live export process, as long as this industry exists.

“Finally, the Government will be required to commit to legislating within six months a ban on all live sheep and beef cattle exports by sea, with the ban fully implemented within three years.”