Review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer

People with who wish to anonymously report concerns ab​out live animal exports can call our hotline on 1800 234 002.

​​​Independent review of conditions

Dr McCarthy was engaged by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to advise on conditions (as specified in approved arrangements), any changes to the administration of ASEL and/or actions that would be required to assure health and welfare outcomes for sheep being transported to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer. The review was conducted in accordance with the terms of reference.

Dr McCarthy provided his final report to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on 11 May 2018.

The report contains 23 recommendations and the department supports them. Some recommendations will be implemented immediately, while others will be subject to further research and consultation with industry and animal welfare experts. The department will also work collaboratively with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, where needed, to give effect to the recommendations of this report.

The department’s response has been updated to reflect that it will work with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as necessary to phase out current transitional arrangements by 1 January 2020, rather than 1 January 2019 as was previously published.

Heat Stress Risk Assessment

  • A technical reference panel has been established to advise on the development of a welfare-based approach to heat stress risk assessment (Refer to McCarthy recommendations 3–5, 7 and 8.)
  • The panel comprise independent experts in animal welfare, heat stress and animal science to focus on a new approach to heat stress risk assessment, from one based on mortality to one based on heat stress. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is also providing input on ship ventilation matters.
  • The panel is consulting with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock technical advisory committee, producer groups, livestock export industry organisations, animal welfare non-government organisations and other relevant parties.
  • The panel sought feedback on assessing heat stress risk in the sheep trade via issues paper in September and October. The department will consult further by the end of 2018 before implementing any changes to the heat stress risk assessment settings before the next northern summer.

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Independent review of Conditions for the Export of Sheep to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere Summer PDF 42831 KB
Independent review of Conditions for the Export of Sheep to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere Summer DOCX 42313 KB
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources: Regulator’s response to the McCarthy Review into the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer PDF 8452 KB
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources: Regulator’s response to the McCarthy Review into the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer DOCX 887 KB

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Media statement

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