On 26 November 2021, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) made a decision in response to the application by Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd and EMS Rural Exports to review the cancellation of their export licences in 2018. The AAT decided the correct or preferable decision was to suspend the licences until 3 December 2021.
The AAT found that Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd did cease to be a body corporate of integrity but that Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd has now sufficiently rehabilitated itself so as to resume its status as a body corporate of integrity. The AAT substituted a new decision that Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd’s licence is suspended from 22 June 2018 to 3 December 2021. The AAT found that there should be a corresponding period of suspension of EMS Rural Exports’ licence because of the degree of association between the two companies.
The department has decided not to pursue an appeal of the AAT’s decision in this matter.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is committed to being an effective and visible regulator in the live animal export industry and remains resolute in its commitment to its role as the regulator of livestock exports.
The Awassi Express incident during 2017 made it clear there was a need for greater scrutiny of the industry. Since then, the department has strengthened regulation by:
- implementing a prohibition on exporting sheep to the Middle East during the hottest part of the northern hemisphere summer.
- requiring heat stress management plans for northern hemisphere summer voyages.
- lowering stocking densities for sheep on livestock export vessels.
- requiring automatic measurement and collection of on-deck temperature readings for northern hemisphere summer voyages.
The regular updating of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock demonstrates the Australian government’s strong commitment to supporting positive animal welfare outcomes through effective regulation. The most recent update to the standards was published on 18 November 2021 and can be found on the department’s website.