Our capability and culture in the regulation of live animal exports is currently under review.
This review is being conducted by an independent reviewer appointed by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
The purpose of this review is to:
- assure government and the Australian public that exporters meet our high animal welfare standards
- identify regulatory and investigative improvements that we can make.
A final report will be provided to the Minister by 24 August 2018.
Terms of reference
The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, has commissioned a review into the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the regulation of live animal exports. The review will assess the capability, powers, practices and culture of the Department as regulator of live animal exports in providing assurance to the government and the Australian community that our nation’s high standards and regulations for animal welfare are being met. The review will make recommendations on any improvements to regulatory and investigative performance to ensure persons involved in the live export trade are compliant with regulations and maintain high standards of animal welfare, and the department is a trusted regulator of the live animal exports trade.
The review will be undertaken by an independent external reviewer. The reviewer will be supported by a secretariat based in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and will have full access to the Department’s staff and records in undertaking the review.
The reviewer will assess and make recommendations on:
- The regulatory powers available to the Department to ensure compliance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) and animal welfare standards, how effective those powers are to ensure compliance by the live animal exports industry, and how effectively the department uses those powers.
- How the Department assesses and determines regulatory conditions appropriate to achieve ASEL and animal welfare standards, and how those conditions are communicated and enforcement of them verified and measured.
- The process for investigating reportable mortality events and complaints received about industry compliance with the ASEL and animal welfare standards.
- The effectiveness of reporting obligations under relevant legislation.
- Appropriate structures within the Department to ensure regulatory responsibilities are met, including whether an Inspector-General of Livestock Exports would provide superior oversight of the regulator.
- The development and maintenance within the Department of an effective regulatory culture that delivers on animal welfare standards and the ASEL and in doing so supports a sustainable live animal exports industry.
- The requisite skills, capabilities and systems for regulating the live animal export trade, as well as any improvements to support Departmental officers in their regulatory capacity.
- The effectiveness of the Department’s interaction with relevant State and Territory authorities (and applicable State and Territory legislation) as well as improvements to ensure the best level of Commonwealth/State and Territory cooperation can be achieved.
- The ability of the Department to assess community expectations and its cultural capacity to respond, including the manner in which the Department engages with key stakeholders, including the live animal exports industry and supply chain, animal welfare organisations, other regulators, community stakeholders and international trading partners and governments.
- Any related matter.
In undertaking the review, the reviewer should have regard to relevant Australian Government policies and guidelines on best practice regulation, compliance and investigation standards.