At the WA Labor Conference in July 2011, a momentous Animal Welfare motion introduced by Lisa Baker Member for Maylands was passed. The section covering live exports reads as follows:
On Live Export:
64. Labor recognises that:
a) There are strong economic, job and animal welfare reasons for transitioning from the live export trade to domestic processing of animals for local consumption and the chilled and frozen meat trade.
b) While the live export trade continues, livestock for slaughter from Australia will be treated humanely while being transported and in the country of destination.
65. To this end, Labor will:
a) Require that livestock be transported, unloaded, held and slaughtered in accordance with OIE Guidelines and stunned using appropriate humane restraints immediately before slaughter, and that there will be independent monitoring and enforcement of these standards.
b) Ensure adequate transitional arrangements are in place to facilitate the expansion of a chilled and frozen meat trade.
c) Develop and implement an alternative and sustainable economic base for the pastoral industry in the north of Western Australia.
d) Work with the Commonwealth government, industry and importing countries to promote the trade in chilled meat from animals humanely transported and slaughtered in Australia.
e) Pursue, as part of trade negotiations, the elimination of policies of foreign governments, such as subsidies and tariffs, which distort competitive neutrality between the meat processing and the live export industries.
f) Promote Australian chilled and frozen meat in potential new markets through intensive international promotional campaigns, such as the emerging markets in China.
WA animal lovers need to vote for Labor in the next state election to help make this motion a reality!
Photograph courtesy of Katrina Love.