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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3578


Ms KATE ELLIS (AdelaideMinister for Employment Participation and Minister for Early Childhood and Childcare) (09:52): I rise on the issue of live animal exports, an issue that I first raised concerns about in this place some seven years ago. It is an issue that I have continued to advocate both within the government and more broadly and an issue that so many in the Adelaide electorate are fiercely passionate about.

After the latest horrific incidents of abuse were televised, many people have again spoken out. It is their words that I seek to use today, putting them publicly and permanently on the record and again pledging to be their voice in this place and to fight on the issues for which they are passionate. Voices like Ella's, from Prospect, who wrote to me saying:

I am only 15 years old, from Adelaide, and although it may not seem like that much of a problem coming from me, I saw it the footage on the news the other night. I have never been so ashamed of being human. I didn't even think it was humanly possible to be so heartless.'

Or, from Joan in Norwood who wrote:

I have been intensely disturbed for day after watching the video footage of the cruelty to live animals sent to Egyptian 'state-of-the-art' abattoirs. These practices are disgusting. They're unnecessary and they are totally cruel.

I heard from Maureen in Adelaide who said:

I have watched and heard about with absolute horror and disgust at the dreadful acts of cruelty to animals, namely Australian livestock, over in other countries. Such brutality and downright torture—it is time for it to stop immediately.

I have heard from so many of the constituents in my local area that I could speak here for hours raising their concerns. Fortunately for all of you, I will not do that, but I will share some of the others. Michelle, from Parkside, wrote:

I am appalled that we are still sending our animals overseas to be treated like this. This is not okay. Please do what you can to prevent this terrible cruelty happening to our cattle. We wouldn't allow it to happen to pets--owners would be prosecuted. Our farmers don't want to see their animals treated like this either.

Ana, from Adelaide, said:

I am astonished and deeply concerned having heard about the dreadful conditions with animals and livestock in Egypt. I also heard on the ABC this morning that graziers in Queensland are pressuring government to relax on live animal export trade to those countries that have deplorable slaughtering processes. Please, I ask that you do not go back on your word to the Australian people and please, if there is anything humanitarian that you can do to influence for the better the terrible situation.

Christina, in Unley Park, says:

Please, can I ask that you redouble your efforts to keep this issue alive in Canberra.

To all of these, and to so many more who have written, who have rung, who have spoken out, I know how much you care about this. I know how sickened and appalled you are every time you see such footage, and I will continue to advocate within the government, within the parliament and within the community to see an end to these acts of extreme cruelty.