Greens candidate for Page Kudra Falla-Ricketts has joined the chorus of condemnation over the mistreatment of Australian cattle exported to Vietnam.
Video footage collected by animal welfare group Animals Australia, and aired on the ABC, has sparked outrage among politicians and cattle industry groups.
The footage, which shows cattle being bludgeoned to death with sledge hammers, is being investigated by the Federal Deparment of agriculture.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has vowed to suspend the licenses of live cattle exporters if they are found to be doing the wrong thing, but has ruled out banning the live export trade in response to the video.
Both Labor leader Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have condemned the mistreatment of Australian cattle.
Ms Falla-Ricketts has called for an immediate ban on live cattle exports to Vietnam, and a staged transition away from live exports.
‘Clearly existing procedures to ensure the humane treatment of animals exported from Australia are in disarray and the federal government’s ad hoc approach of only stopping exports to the abattoirs involved is a wholly inadequate response,’ Ms Falla-Ricketts said.
‘Does the federal government really expect us to stand idly by and wait for more shocking evidence to emerge, and then simply take action on a case by case basis? That is a recipe for ongoing failure.
‘Live exports need to be phased out completely, a move that would revitalise the meat processing industry inside Australia and create jobs.
‘I understand the difficulties for some farmers if the trade was stopped overnight completely, but we really do need to develop a proper plan in Australia to transition out of this practice.
‘In a region like ours, there would be job opportunities in a revitalised meat processing industry.’
The footage has also created a backlash within the cattle industry.
Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith said he wanted full enforcement of the law against exporters who sent the cattle to Vietnam.
Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association president Tom Stockwell said farmers put trust in exporters that their animals would be treated humanely.
‘It’s just not acceptable. We thought we’d fixed this problem,’ he told the ABC.