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Submission Guide to "Phase out of live sheep exports by sea"

Our submission guide for the consultation to the "Phase out of live sheep exports by sea" is now available here.

Live export is a practice that most Australians find abhorrent. On export ships, animals endure horrific conditions, only to arrive at destinations where welfare standards are even worse than our own. 

When the Albanese Government was elected in April last year, one of their promises was to phase out the live export of sheep by sea, But for this to be guaranteed, it needs to be done during their first term in government. The longer the phase-out takes, the more sheep will suffer. 

Labor have now stated they aren’t looking to phase out this horrible industry until their next term. This means if they aren’t elected for a second term, the phase-out may never happen.

With the launch of this consultation, every Australian has the chance to determine how soon this will happen. It is important to note that they have committed to doing it, so they’re not looking for justifications on why it should be done. This consultation is about the how and when! However, it is always a good idea to take any opportunity possible to remind the Government about how cruel it is, and that it affects our reputation as a nation. Here are some tips on making your submission.

Consultation Details

For details on the terms of reference for the enquiry, go to Phase out of live sheep exports by sea on the  Parliamentary enquiry website. 

The consultation closes on the 31st of May 2023 with feedback to be provided via the submission portal.

How to make a Submission

If you have not used the Parliamentary portal before, you will be required to create a login.  Otherwise, please use your pre-existing login. 

You will be required to complete a few steps before you can upload your submission 

  1. Ensure you select the correct consultation from the drop-down menu (Phase out of live sheep exports by sea)
  2. You will be asked to enter your contact details again. This is important, if they cannot verify your existence, your submission will be ignored. 
  3. You will be asked to specify whether you are happy for your submission to be published and if so, can it include your name? 
  4. Lastly, make sure your submission is in one of the following formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, then upload and submit!

The Terms of Reference

There are 5 areas (often called terms of reference or TOR’s) that the consultation asks you to comment on. You may choose to discuss as many of them as you would like OR you may focus on a particular topic or area that you are more passionate or knowledgeable about. In any submission you make to Parliament, there will be some questions that are harder to answer as they require industry or specialist knowledge.  You don’t have to address them if you don’t feel you have enough knowledge.

For this consultation, the terms of reference are as follows:

  • potential mechanisms to phase out live sheep exports by sea
  • a suggested timeframe and options for implementation
  • potential ways to support the transition, including but not limited to consideration of
    markets, processing facilities and other opportunities
  • other matters as appropriate.

Below are some points you may like to focus on in your submission:

  • 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. There is always the danger that Labor may not be re-elected and if a coalition government should resurface, this would be a significant setback. 
  • The type of support farmers receive while the transition happens is crucial to the success of this phase-out. Consider noting your support for this. There could be an opportunity to push for more plant-based agriculture.
  • This is a good opportunity to mention things like our international reputation, our ranking in terms of World Animal Protection’s official rankings. Mention New Zealand’s recent ban as an example of how a civilised country should behave toward animals and respect the views of the general public over a few vested interests.
  • 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.

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