2018-06 - Legislation amendments for the export of sheep by sea

​​​20 July 2018


Document Pages File size
Export Advisory Notice 2018-06 PDF 3 365 KB
Allometric Formula Calculator XLSX 2 257 KB

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Online content

Species: All Livestock

Country: All

For information:

  1. Departmental Officer
  2. Livestock Exports
  3. LiveCorp
  4. ALEC
  5. Australian Government Accredited Veterinarians
  6. Register Premises Operators


To inform the industry and holders of export licences of actions required to meet new conditions imposed under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Order 2018 and the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005.

Key points

In April 2018, footage was released showing live sheep in severe heat stress while being transported to the Middle East. The McCarthy Review was announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources as part of the Government’s response to the incident.

The McCarthy Review was published on 17 May 2018 and included a number of recommendations affecting sheep exports to the Middle East region between May and October including stocking density, ventilation and thermoregulation of sheep.

These recommendations are now incorporated into the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Order 2018 and the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005.


For all consignments of sheep exported by sea, regardless of the destination, the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005 has beenamended and now requires all exporters to:

  • Report to the department if the shipboard mortality level of a consignment of sheep on the vessel (including loading and unloading) reaches whichever is greater of:
    1. 1% of the sheep in the consignment; or
    2. 3 sheep in the consignment.
  • The report must be given as soon as possible and, in any event, within 12 hours after that level is reached.

The Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Order 2018 imposes the following conditions on all consignments of sheep exported by sea between the months of May and October travelling through waters in the Arabian Sea north of latitude 11˚N:

  • Automatic watering systems on vessels
  • Heat stress management plan
  • Additional bedding for sheep (1 tonne per 10,000 animals)
  • Pen air turnover verification
  • Stocking of sheep in accordance with whichever of the following provides more space per animal
    • the allometric allocation (k=0.033), curfew adjustment (12%), 40 grams per day weight gain
    • heat stress risk assessment
  • 10% extra space for horned rams
  • Kuwait first port of unloading

Calculating allometric stocking density

The attached ‘Allometric Formula Calculator’ can be used to formulate the spacing requirement.
There are two calculators in the spreadsheet:

  1. one for sheep that have been under curfew at the registered premises; and
  2. one for sheep that have not been curfewed at the registered premises.

The initial weight of the sheep is to be entered into the “Initial Weight (kg)” cell and the expected number of days to the first port of discharge into the “Days to First Port” cell.

Only enter data in the yellow cells. The final allometric space requirements will be calculated in the blue cells.

Heat stress management plans

Exporters must ensure the heat stress management plan for each voyage includes (but is not limited to) the following information:

  • Selection and sourcing of appropriate heat tolerant livestock (e.g. breed, age, weight etc.)
  • Preparation of stock (e.g. wool length, additional rejection criteria beyond ASEL requirements etc.)
  • Information about the structure of the vessel and remediation (hot spots, areas with low air flow etc.)
  • Load planning to maximise heat tolerance and space allowance for livestock travelling to subsequent ports (if applicable)
  • Weather monitoring and actions if extreme weather is forecast or occurs
  • Airflow/ventilation management during the voyage, and during discharge (e.g. use of additional fans, destocking pens, ship route etc.)
  • Management of fodder and water provision
  • Pad management
  • Management of deceased/euthanased livestock
  • Discharge operations/management
  • Any other actions the exporter will take in addition to the requirements of ASEL and the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Order 2018.

These legislative amendments will require changes to approved arrangements and further instruction on this will be provided in an EAN to be issued the week commencing 23 July 2018.

Please contact the department for more information or to discuss how these changes affect any consignment preparations.

Erin Payne
Live Animal Exports Branch
Exports Division
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Contact officer: Rebecca Martin
Phone: 02 6272 4581

Last reviewed: 11 November 2019
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