Reforming live animal exports

​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, as the regulator, is committed to ensuring exporters manage animal health and welfare.

A range of live animal export reform initiatives are underway. These initiatives are designed to increase transparency and provide assurances of the regulation of the live export trade.

Reviews into the trade, including the independent review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer, the review into the investigative capability, powers and culture of the independent regulator and the review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock, are intended to complement each other. These reviews will improve the health and welfare of exported livestock through better conditions, standards and regulatory capability.

Report

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources has established a live animal export whistleblower hotline. The hotline number is 1800 319 595. The whistle blower hotline is a free call service for people to confidentially report information on bad practices in livestock export and breaches or suspected breaches of export conditions.

Research

Vessel Heat Stress Technology Trial Program

With Australian Government funding, the Australian Livestock Export Corporation Ltd (LiveCorp) has undertaken a project to explore technologies that could reduce the risk of heat stress in sheep on livestock vessels.

Read about the research and find out more about the project.

Reviews

McCarthy Review

On 10 April 2018, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources announced an independent short, sharp review into the standards for sheep exported during the northern hemisphere summer. Dr McCarthy was appointed to undertake this review and provided his final report on 11 May 2018.

Read the final report and the department’s response.

Standards​

The review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) began in January 2018.  The review is being undertaken by an independent Technical Advisory Committee. The ASEL standards ensure livestock are fit for export and help manage the risks to animal health and welfare during the voyage.

Heat Stress Risk Assessment review

Following the review conducted by Dr Michael McCarthy (May 2018) on conditions for export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer, the department established a technical reference panel to advise on the development of a welfare-based approach to heat stress risk assessment.

Read more about the Heat Stress Risk Assessment review.

The department’s regulatory capability and culture

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, commissioned a review into the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the regulation of live animal exports.

Read the final report and the department’s response.

Media statements

Stay informed with our activities. Check current live animal exports media statements.

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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