Labor’s MP for Fremantle Josh Wilson wants the live sheep trade to stop completely.Calls are mounting within Labor to end the live sheep trade in the Middle East as the Awassi Express looks set to embark on its next voyage later this week after complying with a ventilation improvement order.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority imposed the order on the Emanuel Exports-chartered vessel after footage of 2400 sheep dying in filth and extreme heat on an August journey was broadcast earlier this month.
The operator must now lodge an export permit application with the federal Department of Agriculture and formally commit to additional conditions that have been imposed, including a 17.5 per cent reduction in sheep numbers.
If the department is satisfied, livestock will be loaded onto the ship in Fremantle port later this week.
Acting Labor leader Tanya Plibersek urged the federal government to consider a suspension in the northern hemisphere summer trade while a review ordered by federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is completed.
Labor’s MP for Fremantle Josh Wilson wants the live sheep trade to stop completely, saying he’s long been opposed to it along with people in his electorate.
“People in the Labor caucus understand my view, and I’m not alone,” Mr Wilson told Sky News on Tuesday.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has strengthened his position on live exports since a recent visit to Perth, when he was coy on whether or not he supported a summer ban as sought by WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
“Other politicians have looked at a summer ban. We’ll work with the government to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Mr Shorten told reporters a fortnight ago.
He backed a suspension last week.
“There are a number of people who have taken a view about the inherent cruelty in the long haul live export of sheep and I was really glad that Bill made that call,” Mr Wilson said.
Federal Liberal MP Sussan Ley didn’t change her mind about wanting to end long haul live exports altogether after discussions with farming groups on Monday.
Australian Associated Press