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Monday, 4 July 2011
Page: 3831


Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery) (12:26): I seek leave to make a personal explanation for the purpose of correcting the record.

Leave granted

Senator LUDWIG: This is the first opportunity I have had to correct the record since it was drawn to my attention. I seek to clarify the record with regard to correspondence between me and the live export industry in relation to animal welfare matters. On 30 November 2010 I met with representatives of the industry to discuss animal welfare issues in the live export trade. Following on from this meeting I wrote to the industry on 17 January. This letter was addressed to the Australian Livestock Exporters Council and also sent to LiveCorp. In that letter I made it clear that I was seeking industry support and advice on systems to improve animal welfare outcomes achieved in the live trade generally and in particular during the Eid festival. On 24 January I received a response from the Australian Livestock Exporters Council which was copied to LiveCorp. This letter made it clear that, after my involvement, the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, LiveCorp and Meat and Livestock Australia were taking steps to deliver better animal welfare outcomes through the trade.

On 21 March I again wrote to the Australian Livestock Exporters Council reiterating my support for the industry and again asking for proposals to improve animal welfare outcomes across the trade. On 22 March I received a response from the AustĀ­ralian Livestock Exporters Council. That response again made it very clear that, as a result of my engagement with the issues, the industry—the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, LiveCorp and Meat and LiveĀ­stock Australia—had commenced a process to deliver better animal welfare outcomes.

I table a copy of those letters. Any suggestion that Meat and Livestock Australia were not aware of any of my concerns about these issues is not correct.