Live Export

Tapping foreign aid budget for animal welfare makes sense: Truss

Beef Central, 05/08/2011

Calls by the Australian Live Exporters Council for $15 million from Australia’s multi-billion dollar foreign aid budget to be spent on abattoir upgrades and training programs in Indonesia have been backed by the Federal Opposition.

“The proposal has the potential to deliver a win-win situation,” Nationals leader Warren Truss said.

“Clearly, Australians have a heightened interest in upgrading facilities in Indonesia and other countries where we export livestock.

“Over the last two months Australians have also gained appreciation of the importance of our live export trade to the livelihoods and wellbeing of people, communities and industries across northern Australia.

“This investment could be a lifeline to rebuild confidence in our $1 billion-a-year live export trade, while, at the same time, representing an unprecedented push to revolutionise animal welfare standards in our export markets.”

Under the proposal, the industry would also contribute $5 million to the animal welfare improvement initiative.

Mr Truss described a statement from newly-sworn in Greens’ Senator Lee Rhiannon that ‘ending live exports is the only real way to stop the horrific treatment of Australian cattle in overseas abattoirs’ as absurd.

“Senator Rhiannon’s naive argument undermines the serious goal of improving animal welfare standards overseas,” he said.

“Australia is already the world’s leader in animal husbandry and care, so taking that knowledge across the globe is a worthwhile objective.

“Surely what is unacceptable for Australian-bred animals is also unacceptable for other cattle. We should use our knowledge and influence as a major supplier to insist on animal welfare reform.

“Banning the trade undermines the very means of affecting attitudinal or behavioural change. By abandoning our place in the market we would also abandon our authority to demand better animal treatment. Neither is in Australia’s interests or the interests of sound animal welfare reforms.

“Clearly, more needs to be done and here is a proposal that makes sense.”


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