I appreciate that this is an extremely difficult issue and there are many people in the community with strong views on both sides of the debate.

Reports of animal cruelty are alarming and any mistreatment of animals is not acceptable.

It is important to note that in relation to animal welfare standards overseas, Australia is the only country of 109 countries across the world that export livestock which actively works and invests in overseas destination markets to help improve animal welfare standards.

It concerns me that if Australia was to ban live exports, animals would be sourced from other countries that neither impose our high domestic standards, nor work with destination countries to implement higher standards.

The Coalition will continue to support a sensible, methodical approach to ensure that matters arising in the live export market are properly investigated by the government of the day and corrective action and compliance applied where required.

Nobody likes animal cruelty, least of all The Nationals, but we do care for regional Australia. We want our farmers to get a fair price for their livestock. We also want to see those livestock treated properly. We do not want them to be sent to abattoirs which are going to treat them inhumanely, and that is why it is essential to have controls in place.

We do not support the Independent Office of Animal Welfare.  The office is designed to shut down the industry of live animal exports, but it does nothing to improve animal welfare.

We consider that with the proper safeguards the live animal trade can continue successfully in a humane way.