THE Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council welcomes the reforms announced today by the Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud to strengthen the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ regulatory oversight of the livestock export industry.
The Minister has confirmed the establishment an independent Inspector General of Live Animal Exports who will oversee the Department’s regulation of the livestock export industry.
“In April, exporters called for the introduction of an Inspector General to oversee independence and cultural change in our industry and to work constructively with exporters to improve animal welfare outcomes,” ALEC independent chairman Simon Crean said.
“That reform is part of a suite of initiatives endorsed by ALEC in April targeting major cultural change in the industry and the strengthening of welfare accountability. The Minister’s announcements today reflect clear alignment in terms of industry reform and enhancing regulatory transparency.
“Exporters have demonstrated a willingness to reform to secure a sustainable future for the livestock export industry and to ensure producers who rely on the trade have certainty and confidence for the future.”
As part of the reforms announced today, a principal regulatory officer will be established in the Department to improve regulatory practice, compliance and culture, alongside a new animal welfare branch within DAWR.
Mr Crean said ALEC welcomed measures to improve systems to allow concerns raised by DAWR staff to be addressed transparently and promptly. Mr Crean also restated ALEC’s support for the development of animal welfare indicators to be used as part of regulatory compliance systems.
“ALEC’s number one priority is best practice in animal welfare – poor welfare outcomes are never acceptable. That’s why as an industry we’re working with the researchers to define the welfare measures and to apply the technology to better monitor livestock in our supply chains,” he said.
“Concurrent with regulatory reform, industry must play the leading role in building a culture and vision that supports improved animal welfare outcomes, in alignment with the best available science and community values.
“We’ll work with all those who are committed to improved welfare practices because we are determined to achieve ongoing improvements, built on the genuine care producers, exporters and importers have for the animals in our supply chains. That commitment is reflected in our work to introduce the Livestock Global Assurance Program.”
LGAP is designed to deliver improved Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) compliance by applying responsibility for welfare across international livestock export supply chains.
“LGAP is underpinned by our commitment to major change and long-term sustainability,” Mr Crean said.
“We’ll continue to work closely with the Minister, the regulator and other industry stakeholders, to adopt ongoing reforms, including on the introduction of LGAP.”
The story Live-ex peak group welcomes more regulatory oversight first appeared on Farm Online.