The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as the regulator, is committed to ensuring exporters manage animal health and welfare.
A range of live animal export reform initiatives are underway. These initiatives are designed to increase transparency and provide assurances of the regulation of the live export trade.
Reviews into the trade, including the independent review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer, the review into the investigative capability, powers and culture of the independent regulator and the review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock, are intended to complement each other. These reviews will improve the health and welfare of exported livestock through better conditions, standards and regulatory capability.
The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources established a live animal export whistleblower hotline on 13 April 2018. The hotline number is 1800 319 595. The whistle blower hotline is a free call service for people to confidentially report information on bad practices in livestock export and breaches or suspected breaches of export conditions.
Vessel Heat Stress Technology Trial Program
With Australian Government funding, the Australian Livestock Export Corporation Ltd (LiveCorp) has undertaken a project to explore technologies that could reduce the risk of heat stress in sheep on livestock vessels.
On 10 April 2018, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources announced an independent short, sharp review into the standards for sheep exported during the northern hemisphere summer. Dr McCarthy was appointed to undertake this review and provided his final report on 11 May 2018.
The review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) began in January 2018. The review was undertaken by an independent Technical Advisory Committee. The ASEL standards ensure livestock are fit for export and help manage the risks to animal health and welfare during the voyage.
Heat Stress Risk Assessment review
Following the review conducted by Dr Michael McCarthy (May 2018) on conditions for export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer, the department established a technical reference panel to advise on the development of a welfare-based approach to heat stress risk assessment.
The department’s regulatory capability and culture
The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, commissioned a review into the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the regulation of live animal exports on 23 April 2018.
Stay informed with our activities. Check current live animal exports media statements.