Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith says ending live animal exports could potentially be good for local farmers who are increasingly focusing on high-value-added boutique meats anyway.
‘Live animal exports are cruel and the Greens have proposed a five-point transition plan to end the practice, Ms Smith said.
‘Our farmers face many difficulties, including an ever-warming planet, but the damage to our reputation from live exports truly threatens the long term viability of the sheep meat industry,’ she added.
‘I have been contacted by constituents shocked at the recent video footage of dehydrated and dying sheep on a ship travelling to the Middle East.
‘They are horrified and angry at the treatment of these animals, and so they should be. I join them in feeling disgusted and concerned at this blatant cruelty.
Farmer adjustment assistance
‘Under the Greens plan, which is supported by the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, farmers will be supported through the transition from live exports, with a farmer adjustment assistance package, to return to local processing and chilled meat export, which in the long run will benefit local businesses,’ Ms Smith said.
‘A 1985 Senate report found that live exports were harmful to sheep welfare and they should be phased out and replaced with exports of chilled meat. This is not a new plan: it’s time that Australia implemented it.
‘Bespoke, boutique meats is one of our booming markets on the North coast and transitioning from live exports to local businesses is good news for small businesses across the nation. This is the humane thing to do to end the animal cruelty we are currently seeing,’ Ms Smith said.