The repeated failure of legislative attempts to permanently abolish live exports and to introduce mandatory stunning has not deterred a number of Labor members from renewing calls for a ban at the party's national conference this week.
A motion to phase out live exports and to require the mandatory stunning of all animals slaughtered overseas in the meantime will be introduced at the ALP national conference which runs from Friday to Sunday in Sydney.
The move has drawn condemnation from the Federal Opposition, with shadow agriculture minister John Cobb warning that it should "send a shudder through everyone associated with the cattle industry".
In a media release issued this afternoon to draw attention to the motion, Mr Cobb called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to intervene.
"Federal Labor MP Janelle Saffin, who initiated the Federal Government’s live animal export ban in June, will direct the session at the ALP National Conference’s “Labor Fringe program”.
"A member from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the organisation leading the nationwide campaign to stop live animal exports, will also be a speaker.
"The Prime Minister has obviously lost control of her party or she would intervene and cancel this irresponsible session at the National Conference."
“Federal Labor’s fixation with banning live exports continues regardless of its impact on international animal welfare and regardless of the social and economic impact.
“Of the 109 countries that export live cattle, only Australia invests in animal welfare in destination markets. Banning Australia from live animal exports will in fact have the reverse effect and simply lead to the reduction of animal welfare standards internationally.
“The reality is, if Australia is forced to pull-out of these international markets, we will simply be replaced by other countries that actually have lower standards of care for animals.
“For Labor to even talk about revisiting this disaster is amazing, hundreds of local jobs, and thousands of jobs throughout Northern Australia, depend on this industry – and it’s a disgrace that inner city activists are trying to do such harm to our rural communities.
“We saw the human and financial devastation earlier this year when Labor suddenly and unilaterally shut down the live export trade without any consideration of the consequences.
“Labor pulled the rug out from under the cattle industry and they intend to do it again.
“Banning live exports was one of the worst economic decisions ever made by any government, and perhaps is only eclipsed by the introduction of the carbon tax.
“This is a billion dollar export sector and we cannot ‘phase it out’. The Coalition has continued to support improved animal welfare, including many reasonable recommendations as outlined in the Farmer Report.
“Once again, we are seeing Labor being led down the garden path by the Greens.”