The live sheep export trade has been put on notice many times before.
We now need to ‘call time’ on this cruelty, for good.
Today I advised the Minister for Agriculture of my intention to introduce a Private Members Bill, with the aim of setting a date to phase out all live sheep export to the Middle East.
I absolutely recognise any cessation of this trade will need to be done in consultation with producers and the wider industry.
Having been a farmer, and represented rural Australia and sheep producers for 17 years, their interests will always come first.
With cross party support, my Bill intends to amend up to three different Acts and associated regulations, so as to logically and effectively phase out live sheep exports to this part of the world.
I want to stress, again, this move does not seek to halt or alter the short-haul export of live cattle to our traditional Southeast Asian markets
Tastes are changing in Middle Eastern nations. There is no fixed, firm demand for live sheep – our exporters are already sending significant numbers of sheep carcasses and boxed lamb to the region.
While Minister Littleproud has taken firm steps since the latest heartbreaking footage was made public – and I commend him for doing so – the level of outrage in the community indicates ‘enough is enough’.
Enough inquiries, enough of introducing more layers of regulation. It is time to admit the export of these animals, over that length of time, in those conditions, is impossible to fix.
Let’s show the humanity that is needed here and set an end date by which we permanently cease live sheep exports from this country.