Live export ban unlikely after animal cruelty video airs

AFTER two years of struggling to regain its credibility, new and graphic allegations of cruelty are again plaguing Australia's live-animal exporters although there is little risk of another knee-jerk ban by the Federal Government.

The video aired on ABC's Lateline - filmed by Animals Australia - showed sheep in Jordan being treated horribly prior to slaughter.

The case is being investigated by the Department of Agriculture.

In May 2011, similar footage of cattle prompted then Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig to suspend all live exports in an effort to improve their treatment.

The moratorium lasted just months, but created a blight on the cattle industry which was left with cattle unwanted by the market and a dire reduction in demand once exporting restarted.

A repeat is unlikely this time, with current Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce telling a Townsville conference he supported better conditions but would not entertain the idea of a ban.

"No-one supports animal cruelty, least of all farmers and all those reliant on the trade," he said.

"But equally, no-one wants to see our farmers, exporters and others involved in rural industries go under if there is no market for their livestock."

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said with the animals being on-sold from importers, the Jordanian firm responsible must be held to account.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon said the Coalition should reinstate plans made by the former government ot create an independent Inspector-General to oversee live export.

Mr Joyce said it was "one bit of red tape we can do without".

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