The department welcomes the Review of the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Regulation of Live Animal Exports by Mr Philip Moss AM.
The department has released a full response supporting all 31 recommendations in the report.
Regulation requires continual improvement and responsiveness to a changing environment. The department has recently implemented significant changes in the regulation of live animal exports and the Moss Review is an opportunity for reform of current practice.
The department is using this process to strengthen its regulatory practice and performance by placing animal welfare at the centre of the regulatory system, supported by people with the necessary skills and fit-for-purpose systems. Work was already underway to support this.
Key responses to the review include the appointment of a Principal Regulatory Officer to oversee the implementation of the Moss recommendations, better coordinate regulatory functions across the department, improve culture and performance and ensure a consistent response to non-compliance.
The Australian Government will establish an Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports to provide independent oversight and evaluation of the live animal export regulator and the regulatory system.
Regular engagement will be established with exporters, livestock producers, animal welfare organisations and the wider community to ensure the department is informed, transparent and builds understanding between parties.
The department will also establish an Animal Welfare Branch that will focus on standard setting and policy development in live animal exports. This branch will collaborate with researchers, with the aim of trialing animal welfare indicators in the first half of 2019.
The live export trade is a highly contested space and Mr Moss’ report reflects the diversity of views about the department’s performance as a regulator. The department accepts the need to better engage with the views of all stakeholders in our regulatory practice.
The department will implement these recommendations to ensure the transition to becoming a modern, trusted and mature regulator that fosters a strong compliance culture within the live animal export industry.
The department’s full response to the review’s recommendations is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/moss-review.