Statement from Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie regarding the announcement by the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council (ALEC) of a three-month moratorium on sheep shipments to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer.
“I welcome today’s announcement by ALEC of a three-month moratorium on sheep shipments to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer.
"The moratorium, to take effect from 1 June 2019, will mean no shipments of Australian sheep will depart any Australian port for the Middle East during the northern summer when we know these animals face the greatest physical stress.
“This moratorium is the first in a series of necessary steps to phase out an unsustainable industry.
“But it is just a first step and we cannot stop there.
“I call on the Government to allow a free vote on my Private Member’s Bill, the Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill 2018 (No. 2), which was introduced this week.
“My Bill is a hard-fought, reasoned compromise to phase out this declining industry over five years.
“Allowing a free vote would give the Government the opportunity to act on an issue which has galvanised the Australian people to a degree that cannot be ignored and will give all MPs the freedom to vote according to their convictions and represent the views of their communities.
“This afternoon I received a letter from ALEC advising me that they were committed to a reform process and that the cruelty exposed in the media was not representative of their industry.
“Contrary to ALEC’s statement that I have not directly engaged with the industry, I have met with the live export industry and I stand by my comments that this industry has failed to reform to the standards expected by the Australian people and that it should be phased out.”