Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and Animal Welfare spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi is calling on Minister Watt to come clean about why he has delayed the live sheep export phase-out panel’s report by almost one month. The Panel completed consultations on 27 June and was expected to report by 30 September on a phase-out of this cruel trade.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Despite promising to phase-out live sheep exports, all we have seen so far from the Labor party is one delay after another.
“It is clear the trade is irredeemable and the phase out must happen, but it is also clear that Minister Watt is more interested in fence-sitting than taking action.
“The Panel completed consultations back in June, so the Minister must come clean on the reason for this delay and more importantly legislate the phase-out date.
“Animal welfare activists and the community expect a clear and fast timeline for the phase-out and this is what the Government must deliver urgently.
“This is a classic Labor tactic of sending urgent matters off to a panel away from public scrutiny, and then kicking the can down the road.
“No more excuses. The only way to stop cruelty to sheep is to end live export.
“Labor must move faster and bring legislation in this year to phase out live sheep export quickly. That’s what people expect and want.
“We know the majority of Australians want to end this trade in misery. A quarter of Australians think that there should be an immediate ban on live export while a third believe it should be phased out within 2 years. It’s time for Labor to listen.