I welcome Minister Littleproud’s intervention in the live sheep trade and thank him for his cooperative consultations with me.
For too long difficulties in the live trade sector have been the subject of political opportunism. I’m hopeful that era has come to an end.
Labor remains ready to cooperate on a bipartisan basis to ensure reasonable community expectations on animal welfare standards are satisfied.
I remain concerned that the Department’s investigation found no breach of regulatory standards.
That can only mean one of two things. Either:
- The investigative processes are flawed; or
- The standards are insufficient.
Minister Littleproud and I have discussed these questions today and we will continue to do so.
One thing appears certain, business-as-usual is not an option. These standards will require review and Australia needs both an Inspector General of Animal Welfare and an Independent Office of Animal Welfare.
Labor promised both at the last election and we remain committed to these animal welfare initiatives.