Live Export

WA farmers reject Greens live sheep export phaseout date

Sheep Central, March 1, 2024

Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi at Senate Estimates.

















EXPORTERS and Western Australian farmers have rejected a Greens move to legislate the end date of live sheep exports by sea as 1 May 2026.

Australian Greens deputy leader and animal welfare spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, yesterday introduced the Date to End Live Sheep Export Bill 2024 to legislate 1 May 2026 – the start of the Northern Hemisphere Summer — as the end date for the trade.

The Greens said its bill comes as the Federal Government continues its utter silence on legislating a date, despite the Labor party’s election promise to ban live sheep export and Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Murray Wat having the phase-out panel’s report for four months.

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said: “There is no time to waste.”

“Labor must urgently legislate the date to end live sheep export if they are serious about keeping their promise to end this trade in misery.

“No more delay after delay, excuse after excuse, while more animals continue to suffer and die,” she said.

“It’s clear the industry does not give a damn about the animals and their welfare, all they care about is their profits come hell or high water.

“The industry has long tried to hide and downplay the true extent of suffering involved in live export.”

Senator Faruqi said if the government is serious about animal welfare and ending live sheep exports, it must legislate an end date within this term of parliament and announce a swift phase-out plan.

Australian Alliance for Animals co-founder Jed Goodfellow said: “The time for action is now.”

“The transition process is already underway and what we’re asking from the Albanese Government is for it to formalise the phase out in legislation.

“There’s no excuse for the Federal Government to delay legislating the phase-out date any longer.”

Farmers reject proposed phaseout date

WAFarmers president John Hassell.

WAFarmers president John Hassell said the Greens bill was blatant animal activism and “just grandstanding – there is no place for it in this country.”

“Hopefully the Labor Party will give it the respect it deserves.”

WAFarmers Livestock Council president Geoff Pearson said farmers did not support the phaseout, but if it happened the industry would prefer the ability to transition on its own rather than be bullied by the Greens or have it mandated.

“If anything we are looking at up to 10 years before anything can happen otherwise there will be egg on the government’s face.”

Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook said the Greens words in describing the live export trade were inappropriate.

“The words they are using are completely concocted.”

He believed the Labor Party is unlikely to support the bill.

He did not support any date and said there is no need for the trade to be phased out.

Animal activists are being hypocritical – Littlepround

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud rated the Greens bill as “hypocrisy”; that would do nothing but transfer animal welfare standards to other countries.

“Animal activists including the Greens are morally bankrupt because they are valuing the welfare and the life of a sheep in Australia over that of another country.

“Australia has the best standards in the world when it comes to exporting live sheep,” he said.

“The reality is, other countries, for cultural reasons, will take this market if we’re not there and those other countries have a huge mortality rate of live sheep.

“All this will do is export animal welfare standards to other countries,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Shutting down our live sheep industry will create a perverse animal welfare outcome and it is fantasy to suggest we should produce and process live sheep in Australia.”

Mr Littleproud challenged those against live sheep exports to investigate boats from other countries, to show what will happen if Australia isn’t part of the industry.

“Labor is destroying the livelihoods of more than 3000 people who work in the trade and an industry worth $85 million.

“The Prime Minister and his Cabinet continue to hide an Independent Panel Report into the phasing out of live sheep in Cabinet, despite previously committing to providing more certainty by the end of 2023.”


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