RSPCA welcomes bill to prevent live export of ponies, donkeys and horses for slaughter

The RSPCA has today welcomed the introduction of the Export Control Amendment (Equine Live Export for Slaughter Prohibition) Bill 2018 into the Senate by Senators Derryn Hinch and Lee Rhiannon.

The Bill seeks to prohibit the live export of equines for the purpose of overseas slaughter, and follows a successful Senate motion in June 2017.

The RSPCA said the Bill was becoming increasingly important as the demand from overseas interests, especially from China to obtain donkey skin, was rising – with wild and domestic donkey populations all over the world being decimated as a result.

The issue took on greater urgency when it was revealed in a 2017 Senate Estimates hearing that the Department of Agriculture was preparing regulatory changes to facilitate live export of equines such as ponies, horses, and donkeys.

The Bill will prohibit new live export markets from being created and stop Australian horses and donkeys – that have been taken from the wild, retired from the racing industry, or bought from their owners – from being sent on a dangerous and uncertain live export voyage, to be slaughtered in foreign countries under poor standards.

The Bill follows the tabling of a Senate petition in September of more than 21,000 concerned Australians that called on the Australian Government to expressly prohibit the live export of all equines for the purposes of slaughter, and to reject any initiatives that would facilitate the development of a live export trade in horses, ponies, or donkeys for slaughter.

To find out more about why the donkey skin trade is so inhumane, visit