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The regulatory framework

​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ regulates the livestock animal export industry to ensure that it meets the standards set by Australian livestock export legislation and importing country requirements.

Australian legislation puts animal welfare at the centre of the live animal export trade, aiming to ensure that exporters handle livestock according to international animal welfare standards. This ensures a sustainable future for the export livestock industry.

Exporters must comply with importing country requirements for sourcing, disease testing, vaccination, and treatment, to ensure that export livestock consignments are accepted into the importing country, and a valuable trade can continue. All importing countries rely on an animal health certificate that the department issues, to assure them that the exporter has complied with all their requirements.

The department may impose a range of operational compliance measures for exporters who do not comply with the regulatory framework. Australian courts may impose fines or terms of imprisonment.