With permission, we reproduce below an article from AALE (Australians Against Live Export) regarding Prime Minister Albanese’s 6PR radio interview on 18 June, 2024 strongly defending his Government’s position to end the live export of sheep by sea, by May 2028. Meanwhile, Peter Dutton’s Opposition continues to oppose the ban, even in the face of live sheep export disasters/debacles like the 2017 Awassi Express and the 2024 M.V Bahijah. If you wish to show your support for Prime Minister’s position, you can email him here https://www.pm.gov.au/contact
Albanese Defends Live Export Ban Amidst Criticism, Citing Strong Public Support and Animal Welfare Concerns
In an enlightening interview with 6PR radio, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese responded to heated discussions surrounding the proposed live sheep export ban. Despite facing criticism for his perceived levity during the discussion of the “Keep the Sheep” campaign, Mr. Albanese articulated a robust defense of the government’s position, underscoring both the economic and ethical rationale for ending live sheep exports.
While being pressed about the potential political repercussions of this divisive issue, Mr. Albanese remained steadfast, highlighting the government’s commitment to facilitating the industry’s transition: “If you look at the support that we’re giving, $107 million on the table to assist producers, processors, and the whole supply chain with this transition, for an industry that is worth less than the transition money that we have on the table, then I think that overwhelmingly, Australians want this industry to end,” he said.
His comments addressed the irony of the campaign’s messaging, emphasising the reality faced by the animals involved: “And that’s why the campaign isn’t saying, ‘keep live sheep export,’ it’s saying, ‘keep the sheep’. How are the sheep being kept? They’re being put onto these vessels for weeks in conditions which have seen real concern about animal welfare and real loss of the jobs that can be created if we value add, as overwhelmingly our sheep exports, our lamb and our mutton… isn’t in the form of live sheep.”
Mr. Albanese also highlighted a distressing incident earlier this year, where 17,000 Australian sheep and cattle spent weeks stranded on a livestock carrier off Fremantle, illustrating the severe animal welfare issues inherent in the trade. This, he argued, exemplifies the critical need for policy change.
The debate over live exports is polarising, but the Prime Minister’s arguments reflect a significant portion of public sentiment that favors ethical treatment of animals and supports the shift toward more sustainable and humane agricultural practices. His remarks resonate with a growing consensus that, while economically important, the moral cost of live exports is too great a burden for Australia to bear, emphasising that the time for change is now.
As this debate unfolds, it is clear that the government is prioritising both the welfare of animals and the long-term sustainability of Australia’s agricultural industry, making a compelling case for the ban to remain firmly in place.