Agriculture Minister Littleproud’s decision to continue the live sheep export trade has little to be proud of. Against the advice of the RSPCA and the CSIRO who have expressed grave concern at live sheep exports over the northern summer, it is business as usual. One Government inspector onto the same sheep that saw over a thousand sheep suffer to their deaths last year is all that has changed. The minister said on the radio last week that 450 sheep dying on a ship of 60,000 is fair enough collateral damage. One might question the health or market condition of the sheep that survived, surely.
Not so. This trade is abhorrent, to farmers who care for their livestock, and to the rest of us who care about animal cruelty. Minister Littleproud has shown no fortitude on the issue to date at all. No one should profit from animal suffering. This death trade must stop, but clearly we wait until the next disaster before we objectively decide on the future of the live sheep trade.
Peter Lockyer, President BEAM Mitchell Environment Group
See also this article in The Conversation by Peter Singer that adds to the criticisms of the Federal Governments decision on this practice