TASMANIAN independent Andrew Wilkie has introduced another Private Members Bill in the House of Representatives aimed at winding down the live export trade.
This is the fourth time Mr Wilkie has sought to introduce the Live Animal Export Prohibition (Ending Cruelty) Act 2019, prohibiting the export of live animals for slaughter from 1 July 2022 and putting in place additional animal welfare safeguards in the interim.
“Live export is systemically cruel, not in Australia’s economic self-interest and lacks popular support,” Mr Wilkie said.
“No wonder so many Australians want to see this vile trade shut down.
“In recent years my office has been inundated with communications from tens of thousands of people from around the country who are concerned about the live export trade. I’ve heard loud and clear that the community wants a complete ban on this vile industry.”
Mr Wilkie said the bill imposed additional animal welfare safeguards on exporters to ensure Australian livestock was treated humanely until the ban took effect.
“This is the fourth time I have tabled this bill and it has never gained the support of the government or the opposition,” he said.
“Yet Australians simply don’t support this cruel industry. It’s high time both sides of the Parliament took notice, started representing their constituents and supported this bill to ban live export.”
Defenders of live exports say it is an important national industry and the trade would be taken over by others with worse standards than Australia were it to be banned.