I thank Senator Storer for bringing this motion to the Senate. The Greens will be supporting this because we do need an independent office of animal welfare to drive policy and to protect animals. There is a huge conflict of interest when animal welfare issues are regulated by agriculture departments. The recent Moss review into live exports shows what a mess all this is. The government is quite happy to sit by and watch animals suffer, including increasing stock densities and live export ships against the advice of the Australian Veterinary Association. Neither Labor nor Liberal have the courage to take on the cruelty in the greyhound racing industry or to end the most cruel intense farming practices. Only an independent office of animal welfare removed from the conflicts of interest is the way to achieve this.
Senator Storer's motion
That the Senate—
(a) notes with concern that:
(i) three official reviews have found consistent cruelty and failure to meet required standards in the cruel and inhumane live sheep export trade,
(ii) the Moss Review into the regulation of live animal exports found that:
(A) the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the Department) "lacked the skills" to protect live animals shipped overseas, and
(B) the Department's "focus on trade facilitation and industry regulation appears to have had a negative impact [on] the department's culture as a regulator", and
(iii) two years ago, the Productivity Commission recommended the establishment of a stand-alone statutory organisation – the Australian Commission for Animal Welfare – to regulate the "efficiency and effectiveness of the livestock export regulatory system" and that it undertake "regular reviews of the livestock export regulatory system"; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to establish an Australian Commission for Animal Welfare, as recommended, and in the terms proposed, by the Productivity Commission.