End Live Exports

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The Australian Greens are working with animal welfare activists to end live exports. 

We want to see improved and increased processing in Australia to support local producers and jobs. Processing animals in Australia protects them from inhumane treatment and ensures our laws and standards regarding animal welfare can be upheld.

Sign-up to stay in touch with the Greens' work to end live exports.

Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long‑haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018

In June 2018 Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Senate crossbencher Derryn Hinch introduced their Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long-Haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018. 

The Greens’ priority in preparing this Bill is to end the shocking cruelty that tens of thousands of sheep are exposed to every year when they are exported for overseas slaughter.

We’re working with animal welfare organisations and the meatworkers’ union to build cross-party support for a transition out of live sheep exports - and we’re confident we can get there.

Can you take 2 minutes out of your day to contact your Federal Member of Parliament and tell them you want to see an end to live sheep exports – and that no amount of regulation can ever make this practice acceptable.

The more that Labor, the cross-benchers and the Coalition hear from the public on this issue, the more likely we are to get the Bill to the Senate floor and get it passed through both Houses before the next election.

Greens' 5-Point Plan to End Cruelty and Expand Jobs

In the wake of the mass deaths of live export sheep exposed on 60 minutes in April 2018, we have relaunched our '5-Point Plan to End Cruelty and Expand Jobs' that would quickly transition the live sheep export trade to a boxed, chilled meat trade processed locally. The plan has the backing of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU).

Growing Australia’s sheep meat trade - an alternative to live exports

1. Smooth the transition

The Government should work with industry, farmers and the meat workers union to ensure a smooth and successful transition away from live sheep exports to local processing for the export trade in boxed, chilled meat.

2. Farmer Adjustment Assistance Package

Farmers should be entitled to access financial assistance to adjust their flock numbers from an export focus to a more regular local processing system. The Greens are calling for this work to be undertaken by an Independent Assessor.

3. Boost skills and educate workers

The Government, working with industry and unions, should provide assistance to help attract and train Indigenous and other local meat processing workers to serve a new, strong domestic sheep meat processing industry in rural and regional areas, particularly in Western Australia.

4. Remove trade distortions and more vigorously market Australian meat overseas

The Government, working with industry, should actively lobby for an end to subsidies and tariffs which favour the live export trade and put more resources into promoting the boxed, chilled meat trade particularly in countries that currently take live sheep exports from Australia.

5. Establish teams to drive reform within government

Establish new divisions within the Department of Agriculture and Austrade that will be responsi­ble for and develop expertise in growing domestic processing and building meat markets overseas; and set up an independent Office of Animal Welfare.”

The Campaign

Live exports were banned for a short time in 2011 following the ABC's Four Corners exposure of the cruel trade that brutally exploits animals. The Labor Government was forced to stop the trade and set up an inquiry as public outrage and concern was so strong. However the live export trade has since resumed, and in March 2014 the Coalition Government announced it was re-opening the live export trade to Egypt.

The recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into Animal Welfare Standards, released in November 2011, did not go far enough.  In 2012 the government introduced a new Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS)to better regulate animal welfare, but it has failed and further proof of cruel, distressing treatment of exported animals continues to emerge.

The Australian Greens will keep working with animal welfare activists to push for mandatory pre-slaughter stunning in Australia and to end live exports. We want to see improved and increased processing in Australia to support local producers and jobs. Processing animals in Australia protects them from inhumane treatment and ensures our laws and standards regarding animal welfare can be upheld.

Lee Rhiannon is the Greens’ animal rights spokesperson.  Together with her Greens colleagues, Lee is working hard towards an end to the live export trade.  We need your support for Lee's bill to ban the live export trade.

What You Can Do