Monday May 29, 2023

PM says no live sheep export ban this term



A ban on live sheep exports from Australia is at least three years away.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese went to the election promising to ban the trade, which has been criticised by animal welfare groups but generates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in export revenue.

Mr Albanese told ABC Perth radio on Friday the phase-out would not occur this term.

“No one’s envisaging a phase-out in in this term of government,” he said.

“We’ll sit down and we’ll work these issues through cooperatively and respectfully.”

He said his government respected farmers while also wanting to make sure animal welfare issues were looked after.

“We haven’t put a timeframe on that because we want to make sure that we consult with farmers … and work it through in a cooperative way to make sure we get a win-win situation.”

The government was committed to the northern summer export ban which was already in place, he said.

He said the live cattle trade would not be included in the government’s deliberations.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said during the election appropriate safeguards were in place to keep the trade operating, including the suspension of exports over the northern summer, extra vet checks and monitoring on ships.

Australia exports around two million live sheep each year, with the major destinations being Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Israel and Malaysia.

The Greens went to the election calling for an immediate ban on the trade, arguing sheep routinely die horrific deaths and suffer immense heat stress.



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