The Labor Party welcomed RSPCA’s Chief Scientist Dr Bidda Jones’ detailed briefing at Parliament House last night about the long-haul live sheep export trade.
We also welcome the RSPCA’s strong support of the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to ending live sheep exports, as well as its endorsement of our collaborative and consultative approach to securing a better future for Australian sheep farming.
We believe it is important that Members of Parliament are provided with information about the live sheep trade so that debate can be informed and diverse.
Labor is not the only Party talking about the future of agriculture and we are already working with the other Members and Senators about how we ensure that we develop opportunities for those in the industry, from our farmers to producers and exporters.
Labor believes that a transition away from the live sheep export trade can be a positive outcome for our farmers, to increase the value of the product we produce here in Australia and to build on our brand as a producer of clean, green, safe and ethically produced products.
Labor will commit to working with all those in the industry to push our agriculture sector further up the value curve, to create more Australian jobs and higher returns for our farmers and of course improve animal welfare standards.
We also repeat our call for live sheep exports to be suspended until the review into the northern summer trade is complete and for the Turnbull Government to take four measures immediately:
- Appoint an Interim Inspector General of Animal Welfare;
- Bring the belated ASEL Review forward (currently not due to report until mid-2019);
- Replace Barnaby Joyce’s hand-picked ASEL Review Chair (former Liberal Senator Chris Back) with someone truly independent; and
- Embrace Labor’s commitment to an Strategic Australian Meat Industry Plan to increase value-adding in Australia and to employ more Australians
It’s time to take real action to address animal welfare concerns; rebuild community trust in the red meat sector; and to grow value and jobs here in Australia.