Live exports were banned for a short time in 2011 following the ABC's Four Corners exposure of the cruel trade that brutally exploits animals. The Labor Government was forced to stop the trade and set up an inquiry as public outrage and concern was so strong. However the live export trade has since resumed, and in March 2014 the Coalition Government announced it was re-opening the live export trade to Egypt.
The recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into Animal Welfare Standards, released in November 2011, did not go far enough. In 2012 the government introduced a new Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS)to better regulate animal welfare, but it has failed and further proof of cruel, distressing treatment of exported animals continues to emerge.
The Australian Greens will keep working with animal welfare activists to push for mandatory pre-slaughter stunning in Australia and to end live exports. We want to see improved and increased processing in Australia to support local producers and jobs. Processing animals in Australia protects them from inhumane treatment and ensures our laws and standards regarding animal welfare can be upheld.