The Australian Online 31 May 2011:
Saffin says no more excuses for live exports
Page MP Janelle Saffin says there are no more excuses for industry, governments or anyone to continue supporting the live export trade.
Following last night’s Four Corners program, Agriculture Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig today called for the complete suspension of live animal exports to the Indonesian facilities identified in the footage gathered by Animals Australia.
Ms Saffin today said she approves the suspension of live animal exports to the Indonesian facilities identified in the Four Corners program.
“Along with other Labor MPs, I met with Minister Ludwig on the live exports issue yesterday, and following today’s Caucus meeting, the Minister announced the action.
“And yes, I have put forward the view that we have a cessation of live exports.
“I first raised the issue in Parliament early last year and this year my private members motion calling for the phasing out of live exports and an increase in chilled and frozen meat exports was debated in Parliament.
“I’ve been leading this debate with colleagues for some time, particularly promoting changes within our Labor party, in terms of policy.
“Like so many people, I could barely watch the footage from Animals Australia that was screen on last night’s Four Corners program.
“There is now a groundswell of support within the Labor Party to change the practices of live export on the humanitarian grounds, and also because it exports jobs.
“There has been an incredible response to the Four Corners program, and I have had farmers contacting me saying that if this is what’s happening, it has to stop.
“We as Australians have a way of treating animals, and if we export animals we expect those standards to prevail.
“I’ve been told by the Meat and Livestock Association and Livecorp that they operate with best practice, but seeing last night’s program put paid to that.
“I don’t have faith that they, as industry bodies, are looking after those they represent, let alone the public interest.
“We have a responsibility to make sure that animals are treated in the same way that we treat them here.
“Some years ago when confronted by the same scenes of cruelty in Egypt, the trade was stopped almost overnight.
“I am pleased that Minister Ludwig has taken the action he took today,” Ms Saffin said.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig and the Government, have undertaken the following actions:
- asked the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to conduct an investigation into the footage
- announced an independent review to investigate the complete supply chain for live exports up to and including the point of slaughter
- asked for orders to enforce the suspension of live animal exports to the facilities identified by the evidence provided by RSPCA and Animals Australia
- the Minister will add further facilities to the list of banned facilities in future, if required
- Implemented a moratorium on the installation of the restraint boxes, seen being used in the footage. This will apply to the instalment of any new boxes with Commonwealth funds across all global markets and
- Asked the Chief Veterinary Officer to co-ordinate an independent, scientific assessment of the restraint boxes used in Indonesia.
Media Release, 31 May 2011