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‘The live sheep trade will be phased out’: Shadow Agriculture Minister lays out live export agenda

Though passing through the Senate with relative ease, a bill to legislate a five year phase out of live sheep exports has been quashed in the lower house.  

The bill, which would’ve also brought an immediate end to the trade in the Middle Eastern summer, was defeated 72-70 in the House of Representatives yesterday. This came as a surprise for some, after many thought vocal opposition from Liberal MPs Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson on animal welfare grounds would get the bill across the line.

It’s thought the pairs’ recent promotion within government following the leadership coup, may have changed their mind.

“If they had stuck to their convictions and stuck to what they’d said in their speeches in the parliament, then we would have won that vote today and would have passed a bill to phase out the live export trade,” says Shadow Agriculture Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon.

“But they talked the talk and didn’t walk the walk.”

Irrespective of yesterday’s result, Fitzgibbon says he will prioritise a shutdown of the practice, should he become Agricultural Minister under a Labor Shorten Government.

“If we have a Shorten Labor Government, the live sheep trade will be phased out over a 5 year period. We’ll put an immediate stop at the first opportunity to the northern summer trade and will work with sheep producers to help them transition to something better.”

“You cannot reconcile the northern summer trade and reasonable community expectations on animal cruelty.”

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