The live export industry will be reset following the completion of the Moss Review into the culture, capability and investigative capacity of the regulator of live exports.
Minister for agriculture and water resources, David Littleproud, said Australians were upset when they saw footage of sheep dying on voyages to the Middle East, in April, during a shipment in August 2017.
They were further angered that the report of the incident did not match the footage, said Littleproud.
“Australians need to be confident the independent regulator of the live export industry will hold the industry to account. It was clear we needed an independent inquiry into the culture and capability of the regulator.
” The live export industry needs a tough cop on the beat and the department must become a capable, trusted and effective regulator,” he said.
“Today I reset the live export industry to make it sustainable,” said Littleproud.
There will be an external, independent inspector general, of live animal exports, who will oversee the department’s regulation of live export.
A principal regulatory officer within the department will help improve regulatory practices and compliance.
An animal welfare branch within the department and the development of animal welfare indicators will be used as part of compliance systems.
The department will improve systems to allow concerns raised by staff members to be addressed transparently and promptly.
“The principal regulatory officer will be key in driving cultural change within the department as well as improving compliance and investigations,” said Littleproud.
“Employees of the department need to be confident their concerns about animal welfare will be taken seriously and the department will improve systems that encourage this,” he said.
These actions follow a move to put independent observers on each sheep vessel to the Middle East and changes implemented after the McCarthy Review, which included a 28 per cent reduction in stocking densities and speeding up the new Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock to the end of 2018.