On Friday (3 March), we came one step closer to relegating live sheep exports at least, to the dustbin of history, as the current government announced the first step towards phasing the cruel trade out of existence with the reveal of its Independent Transition Panel, comprised of experts in their field and chosen to guide the government on the best way to implement the phase-out.
Would we like to see the trade end tomorrow? Of course, but that’s just not feasible without creating a repeat of the 2011 live cattle to Indonesia suspension and the subsequent billion-dollar+ class action bill the taxpayers will be footing… and remember, three or four years is a lot sooner than never, which is what we’d be looking at with a coalition government.
Industry reckons they’ve fixed the trade, but we know from reading the Independent Observer reports, that nothing could be further from the truth, with heat stress observed in every month of the year, and breaches of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) on 75 per cent of voyages.
They, and the supporters of the live sheep trade who would like to see the cruelty and suffering continue, are pushing back hard and saying they will refuse to be consulted on any phase-out, because they won’t let it happen. Well… it is the federal government that must sign off on any export permits, so we’ll see about that. The government is trying make it as painless as possible – luckily for the producers and those making money from the trade out of WA – not so luckily for the sheep who will probably have to endure another three or four years.
Whilst industry’s knee-jerk reaction is based on emotion, the government is acting on science, statistics, historical evidence, and community sentiment and support.
Please send Minister Murray Watt and PM Anthony Albanese a message saying:
“Thank you for getting the ball rolling on ending live sheep exports. You’re on the right side of history… let’s get this done.”
Or whatever message of support you like! Please don’t berate them for not getting it done overnight – now is the time for the carrot, not the stick, to counter the grief they’re getting from supporters of the trade. Let’s fill their inboxes with messages of support and urge them not to waver in their task!
Head over to Murray Watt – Senator for Queensland and Anthony Albanese‘s Facebook pages and show them some appreciation.
If you prefer Twitter: @MurrayWatt and @AlboMP
Murray Watt at email@example.com
or contact the PM here: https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm