PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On MAY 3, 2018
CHARITIES COMMIT $1MILLION TO HELP PHASE OUT LIVE SHEEP TRADE
Animals Australia and RSPCA Australia have each offered to contribute $500,000 to a structural adjustment package for sheep producers if the Turnbull government pursues a phase out of the live sheep trade.
New polling shows Australians will overwhelming support such a move. A national survey of 1,470 people, commissioned by Animals Australia, has found 9 in 10 Australians would support farmers being provided with financial assistance to phase out live sheep exports.
"The live sheep trade is an unnecessary and antiquated industry that cannot be made humane. Australians overwhelmingly want it to end and we are prepared to contribute to the solution," said Lyn White from Animals Australia.
Animals Australia is calling for a commitment from the Turnbull government to fully explore a phase-out of the live sheep trade, including an appropriate structural adjustment package for producers.
"A succession of economic reports have all concluded that a well-managed phase-out will ensure minimal impact on farmers."
Export statistics show that the live sheep trade is in terminal decline, with exports dropping 60% over the last decade. Air-freighted fresh carcasses are now preferred in the Middle East and are being flown in daily on Middle East airlines.
"Farmers have already been changing their business model. A well-structured adjustment package can provide a painless solution for farmers while giving the trade the dignified death it failed to give to countless animals."
"If the only factor standing in the way of ending this cruel trade is the financial impact on a small percentage of Australian sheep farmers, then the solution is simple. Whatever the dollar figure might be to facilitate a transition, the scale of suffering and regulatory failure warrants government support being provided."
Over 3 million sheep have perished on shipments to the Middle East. Since 2005 there have been 71 shipments on which over 1,000 animals have died – including two shipments in 2016 and 2017 on which over 5,000 sheep perished from heat stroke.
"If this type of animal abuse occurred on Australian soil, those responsible would face fines and imprisonment. Yet exporters are effectively rewarded with further export permits and further profits. The double standards are obvious, as are the regulatory failures."
"This is now a matter of conscience. This trade cannot be fixed. It has suffering embedded in its DNA. As far as the Australian public is concerned, the live sheep trade has passed its use- by-date."
"The Turnbull government proactively planning for a future without live sheep export makes sense on all fronts. We are prepared to financially support a solution that will benefit both animals and farmers."
DOWNLOAD: Live sheep export Fact Sheet
MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Chalk | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0488 006 478 or 0447 011 409
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