The RSPCA has today welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to ending live sheep exports, and has endorsed the approach of collaboration and consultation to secure a better future for Australian sheep farming.
“Australians have been rightly horrified by repeated revelations of cruelty in the live export trade, and they’ve responded in unprecedented numbers,” said RSPCA Australia Chair Gary Humphries, responding to the announcement made today by Shadow Agricultural Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.
“Live animal export is a sunset industry, it has been in steady decline for more than a decade,
“At the same time, the export of boxed meat from Australia has continued to grow, and is now worth around seven times as much as the live sheep trade,”
“The evidence is clear, and the pending review – if conducted properly – will reflect that existing evidence,
“This announcement acknowledges that the way ahead is to chart a rational and measured course beyond the inherent cruelty of live animal exports,
“We believe those next steps should be led by state and federal governments in consultation with farmers and animal welfare groups, and they should be progressed as quickly as possible,
“And we believe these adjustment efforts must include greater investment in in-market development for Australian meat, that’s where our resources should be focused,
“The community wants live sheep exports to end, our supporters overwhelmingly want live sheep exports to end, and in reality, farmers have been moving on from live sheep exports for more than a decade,
“It’s time to continue and accelerate those adjustments, and invest in a greater and more sustainable future for Australian meat exports,” said Mr Humphries.
The policy announcement comes as the RSPCA along with Animals Australia committed a combined $1 million to kick-start efforts to end live sheep exports.
Tens of thousands of Australians continue to express their opposition to live exports at liveexport.rspca.org.au/take-action.