The Australian Government has committed to phase out the live export of sheep by sea. And now every Australian has an opportunity to help determine how soon this will happen. Here are some tips on making your submission.
The public consultation runs until May 31st and invites feedback on the logistics and timeframe of the phase-out. Specifically, the expert panel driving this process is seeking input on:
- how the government should phase out live sheep exports by sea
- the timeframe to implement the phase out
- how the phase out will impact exporters, farmers and other businesses across the supply chain
- support and adjustment options for those impacted by the phase out
- opportunities, including options to expand domestic processing and increase sheep meat exports
- any other general comments
For more details you can read the consultation discussion paper, fact sheet and terms of reference.
Importantly, the government has made it clear that this consultation will not consider the merits of the government’s policy to end the trade. This is about how and when not if.
Making your submission
Feedback must be lodged online, either by uploading your submission or filling out the online survey.
TIP The survey asks specific questions relevant to farm businesses and supply chains. If you can’t answer a question just write n/a and move on. There is still an opportunity to share general comments at the end. If your comments are more general – as a concerned member of the community – it may be preferable to write a letter and upload it.
Key points to include
The phase-out must begin and end as soon as possible. Every delay means more sheep subjected to inexcusable suffering – from the daily stresses of sea transport to fully conscious slaughter in importing countries. In your own words, these are key points you could consider including in your submission:
- Share your views about live sheep export and that you support the phase-out.
- Note that Australians want certainty that this trade will end. That the phase-out be legislated and commences in this term of parliament. And that it begins and ends as soon as possible.
- Consider noting your support for farmers to receive government support to help them to transition.
- You could mention the impact of this trade on Australia’s international reputation as a fair and compassionate nation (perhaps noting New Zealand’s precedent in ending live export). You may also make the point that defending this trade undermines public trust in Australia’s agricultural sector.
- If you supported Labor last election because of this policy, feel free to note that too.
- While the merits of the government’s policy to end the trade are not being considered – you may still want to talk about animal welfare. That this trade is inherently cruel – and even when all regulations are followed, sheep still suffer heat stress at sea and painful un-stunned slaughter overseas.
Once you’ve written your submission in a word document, you can upload it here.