MPs reject live trade bans
18 August 2011
TWO separate bids to end live animal exports have failed to win the support of a single government or opposition MP.
The first, a private Bill by independent MP Andrew Wilkie, aimed to phase out the trade by 2014.
The second Bill, initiated by Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt, sought an immediate ban.
Mr Wilkie said the live animal export trade was unethical.
"How much more evidence does the Government or the Opposition need to see before they wind up live exports?" he told parliament before the vote.
But the MP's call fell on deaf ears with only Mr Bandt backing his crossbench colleague.
Mr Wilkie returned the favour when it came to a vote on Mr Bandt's private Bill.
"The vote may go down but it'll be one of those instances where Labor and Liberal are out of step with what people think," the Greens MP said ahead of the vote.
The RSPCA and Animals Australia are expected to release new footage of ill-treatment of Australian livestock in Turkey later today.
About a dozen people, huddled under umbrellas, gathered outside Parliament House for a silent vigil in support of a ban on live exports.
Mr Wilkie also called on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to reprimand Chris Back over the Liberal senator's questioning of Animals Australia during an upper house inquiry hearing earlier in August.
Senator Back suggested a taxi driver used by the animal welfare organisation had paid Indonesian meat workers to abuse cattle for footage that was later used for a Four Corners report.
Subsequent public outcry led to a temporary ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia.
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