May 8, 2018

How Barnaby Joyce breathed new life into the misery of live exports

During his period as Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce halted any efforts to improve animal welfare standards in live exports, expunged animal welfare from his department and degraded existing protections. And his department has followed his example.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The government's failure to do anything of any substance in relation to systematic violations of its own animal welfare standards in relation to live sheep exports is consistent with its actions since 2013. As Agriculture Minister from 2013 to late last year, Barnaby Joyce worked assiduously to give the live export industry a freer hand in its abuse of animals, after Labor had toughened standards following the revelations of appalling treatment of cattle by the ABC in 2011.

Joyce's first step was to kill off a process that had been commenced under Labor to review the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock. One of the issues on which the ASEL review team -- composed of a wide range of bureaucrats, industry representatives and some animal welfare representatives -- couldn't agree on in its 2013 report was on reducing the stocking densities on board export vessels -- one of the issues contributing to the high mortality rate and sickening conditions in which sheep are being exported to the Middle East. Rather than allow the issue to go forward for public consultation and risk pressure to reduce the maximum stocking density, Joyce killed off the entire ASEL review process when the Coalition entered government.

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8 thoughts on “How Barnaby Joyce breathed new life into the misery of live exports

  1. gumshoe

    Live sheep exports must be banned until… [1] the vessels are better-enclosed and force ventilated, [2] the holding pens are raised on a grid above a sump tray into which excretia can fall, [3] these sumps to be regularly hosed, the excretia being sluiced into holding tanks, [4] holding pen numbers to permit access by all occupants to feed and water, [5] stock to be regularly moved (rotated) so that pens can be cleaned out, and [5] there be some workable system of animal welfare monitoring on every vessel.

    1. John Lewis

      Or perhaps just saying no to the feudal religious mid-eastern nut jobs who request this particular inhumane process

  2. Vasco

    More horror stories from the horrible legacy of one of the most incompetent federal ministers in recent memory. He does have competition from Andrew Constance in NSW, who only tortures the plebs who use public transport. Hope Joyce comes back as a poor creature destined for live export and Constance be doomed to forever travel on an always late train that never stops at the right station.

  3. klewso

    Cousin Jethro was the “Ag-gag Minister”.
    This wouldn’t be a problem if sheep and cattle were like Jethro – non-sentient organisms.
    This incompetent fool seems to think it’s all right to “govern in the interests interested party” – shutting out the rest of Australia that pay those bills. We saw it in the M-DBA.

  4. Nudiefish

    The man is a germ.

    1. graybul

      There are days . . . when I think the entire species is no more than a bio-germ Nudiefish.

  5. Marilyn

    I find this focus on animals bred to be eaten and skinned to make clothing while we torture, trade, traffic, rape, abuse and impoverish humans to be quite bizarre.

    1. bref

      So you think the torture of these animals is OK, or at least shouldn’t be focussed on? What does this say about you.

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