Susan Templeman claims federal government failure of live sheep export policy

The federal government will not ban live exports of sheep, it has announced. Picture: AAP Image/Stop Live Exports, Katrina Love
The federal government will not ban live exports of sheep, it has announced. Picture: AAP Image/Stop Live Exports, Katrina Love

MEMBER for Macquarie Susan Templeman has slammed the federal government’s newly announced live exports policy, saying no amount of regulation was enough.

The federal government will not ban sheep exports to the Middle East, it has announced, but is implementing new regulations for the industry.

The new regulations come after footage of sheep dying in horrific conditions while in transit to the Middle East was aired by 60 Minutes recently.

Some of the newly announced policies will include: 

  • Heat stress will replace mortality rates as the key measure of animal welfare.
  • The reportable mortality level will be halved, from two to one per cent.
  • An allometric stocking density system will be introduced, providing for around 39pc more space for sheep on the voyage, and reducing stocking density by about 28pc.

Those measures though, according to Labor’s Susan Templeman, are not good enough, and the industry should be banned.

“This Government has completely failed to show leadership on live sheep exports,” she said.

“Both the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA have told us that it does not matter what standards or stocking densities are implemented – sheep will still suffer in the searing heat on long voyages, particularly at this time of year.”

“The time the Government has wasted waiting for yet another review could have been better spent starting the process to help farmers who produce sheep for live export to transition to a better and more sustainably profitable model, that meets community expectations on animal welfare standards.”

Western Sydney Liberal Senator Marise Payne, however, said the decision was an important one for farmers across Australia.

“The Liberal/Nationals Government has sought to deliver tough new arrangements that support a sustainable live export trade, including during the upcoming northern summer that maintains animal welfare standards,” she said.

“Unlike Labor’s knee jerk reaction, the Liberal/Nationals Government has taken a responsible and considered approach given what is at stake.”

The Western Australian government has announced it is still considering banning live exports outright.