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Federal Politics

09 Oct 2018

Federal Politics Image

Liberals and Nationals ship sheep

Caption to pic: The Age, Tuesday 11/9/2018 Page 5

During the last parliamentary session, the Liberals narrowly defeated legislation that would have phased out live exports of sheep.

After The Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long-haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018 passed the Senate, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, moved a motion to have legislation to ban live sheep exports come to the House immediately.

Labor gave the House of Representatives the opportunity to phase out the live export trade of sheep and the Morrison Government failed the test.

Sadly, a small group of conservative MPs who had pledged to vote against this cruel practice. Liberal MPs Sussan Ley, Sarah Henderson and Jason Woods reneged on their commitment to vote with us to phase out the live sheep trade.

Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson, when introducing their Private Members Bill to give effect to a phase out the live sheep trade, gave impassioned speeches. They talked about the horrors of this trade and said there were no other choices but to ban it and that the quicker it happened, the better off we would all be.

Mr Fitzgibbon said: “Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson gave up their convictions yesterday. They took their promotions in the new Morrison Government and they put those promotions ahead of the welfare of animals and, of course, ahead of the view of the Australian community.  They should stand up, stand by their convictions, return to their original positions and join Labor in voting for the phase out of this trade.”

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s record on animal welfare is appalling.

They abolished the Inspector General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports; they abolished the National Animal Welfare Strategy; they abolished the animal welfare unit in the Department of Agriculture; they abolished the CoAG Committee that deals with animal welfare issues; and they sent a clear signal to the regulator in the live export trade that “there is nothing to see here” and they should take a light touch approach.

It is very clear now that there is only one way to phase out the live sheep export trade and that is to elect a Shorten Labor Government.

In addition, there is only one way to restore government accountability and public accountability on animal welfare issues and that is to elect a Shorten Labor Government. 

 

Michael Danby

Federal Member for Macnamara

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