My community has been justifiably outraged with footage of the past treatment of sheep within the live export trade. I have met with my constituents and heard their concerns. If the export industry is to continue, unacceptable practices need to change so that such images will never be seen again.
What the government’s done is place new conditions on sheep exporters, including: reducing stock densities; having independent observers on each boat sending back photo and written evidence daily; having independent auditing of pen ventilation readings; ensuring vessels have automatic watering installed for each sheep deck; and reducing the notifiable mortality level for sheep exported by sea from two to one per cent.
In 2017, there were 1.7 million live sheep exported by sea, and 99.29 per cent were delivered in good health. But what has been unacceptable is the footage that my people have seen.
I’m the member for McMillan. I represent a rural-regional seat. The concerns of my constituents are genuine, and I want to say to each one of the many people that have come to see me, the people that have emailed me and people that have written me cards and letters: if this trade is not cleaned up, if they do not perform what the government has called for, this trade will end. I have heard you and I’m responding to what you’ve said.