The Greens are calling on the Turnbull government to recognise that the live sheep trade is winding down and to immediately provide transition packages to both the farmers who sell sheep to the live export trade and to the local meat processing industry to take up those affected sheep.
Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “The government must act on the news that tens of thousands of sheep will not be exported this year due to the actions of two live export companies.
“Livestock Shipping Services (LLS) has decided to suspend its live sheep shipments for the northern summer months and the government has suspended the live export license of Emanuel Exports pending a full review of a series of breaches on various live export ships owned by the company.
“These changes to Australia’s live export trade could mean two thirds of the entire Australian live sheep trade to the Middle East will not go ahead this year.
“We understand that abattoirs in South Australia and Western Australia have stated they have capacity to expand their operations and absorb those animals.
“In light of these developments we call on the federal government to immediately provide industry transition packages to the six per cent of farmers who sell sheep to the live export trade, and associated workers.
“We also urge the government to ensure the required infrastructure adjustment packages are adequate and to work with the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union and local TAFEs on job training requirements.
“Our commitment is that this transition also results in an expansion of local jobs and brings benefits to regional economies.
“We appeal to the federal government to provide leadership to assist all those associated with the Australian live sheep meat industry as it is now clearly in transition away from live exports.
“Government action can end the mass cruelty, expand local job growth and boost the Australian economy."