Live sheep trade

Last night’s 60 Minutes program on the live sheep trade demonstrates that a business-as-usual approach is not acceptable.

Our farmers, however, should not be punished for something over which they have no control. That’s why the Opposition has extended a bipartisan hand to the Government. To end the cruelty without hurting our farmers.

But there are a few conditions attached to our offer of bipartisanship.The Government must support our plan for an independent cop on the beat as outlined in Labor’s six-point plan (an Inspector General of Animal Welfare and an Independent Office of Animal Welfare).

The Government must also accept that current animal welfare standards don’t and can’t meet reasonable animal welfare conditions nor community expectations. They must be updated.

We must also begin to give farmers better market options than the live export model and focus more on adding greater value to our product here in Australia. To create more jobs here and to create high value products here for export markets.

While Labor welcomes  the additional conditions which have been imposed on the vessel scheduled to leave Fremantle this week, one voyage doesn’t make for reform.

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