Call to beef-up cruelty penalties

By Country News

After a push to ban live sheep exports failed, the Federal Government has put the heat back on Labor to pass draft laws beefing up penalties for cruelty.

Responding to outrage over horrific sheep deaths earlier in the year, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud introduced legislation for tough new penalties for dodgy exporters.

The measures include jail terms of up to 10 years for company directors and individuals and fines ranging between $420000 for individuals and $4.2million for companies.

But the government stalled the legislation after Labor tacked on an amendment which would shut the industry down over five years.

On September 11, a push to debate a bill to phase out the trade and end voyages to the Middle East in the northern summer was quashed in the House of Representatives.

Now, Mr Littleproud is urging Labor to agree to pass the penalties legislation without amendments.

‘‘It should accept that result and get out of our way as we increase penalties for live exporters doing the wrong thing,’’ he said.

‘‘Labor’s live export games must end.’’