IN THE NEWS: On JUN 15, 2013
SEVERAL hundred protesters are rallying in Melbourne to call for a ban on live animal exports.
"Don't lose my vote, ban live exports," some of the demonstrators' placards read.
Philanthropist Phil Wollen said federal MPs who supported the live export trade would be punished at the September 14 federal election.
"All around the world we are becoming known as the cruel country," he told the crowd on Saturday.
"Let us demand that all the major political parties - the Liberal, Labor and Nationals parties - grow a spine and ban this disgusting trade once and for all."
In May, independent MP Andrew Wilkie introduced a private members bill into parliament to ban live animal exports by 2017, saying the industry had run out of "last chances".
He said the industry had failed to clean up the live export trade in the wake of the 2011 scandal involving the slaughter of Australian cattle in Indonesia, with continued breaches in countries such as Turkey, Kuwait, Egypt and Indonesia.
He said the government's exporter supply chain assurance system had proven to be ineffective.
The Australian Greens also back a ban on live exports, and had introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
Greens MP Adam Bandt said the issue of live animal exports had resonated across a broad spectrum of the community.
"You've got people from vegetarians right across to the meat workers union saying it's time to end live exports," he said.
"People right across the country want to see change and I think it will be an issue that changes people's votes."