Sunday 22nd Apr, 2018

Ag minister announces terms of review of sheep exports to Middle East

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AGRICULTURE minister David Littleproud announced the terms of reference for the “short, sharp” review in to sheep exports to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer.

Mr Littleproud announced the review last week after seeing footage and images of sheep being severely mistreated on voyages to the Middle East.

“The footage I saw recently from voyages in 2107 shocked me. After meeting with the stakeholders last Monday, I announced this review on the Tuesday,” Mr Littleproud said.

“It will also consider and evaluate the potential use of air conditioners, and conditions placed on recent voyages, which includes the independent observer employed by the Department of Agriculture.”

The minister said the review would identify any improvements in how the current standards, known as the Standards for Export of Livestock or ASEL, can be administered and executed.

“The review will also consider the number and skills of the crew in managing animal health and welfare, contingency planning and reporting,” he said.

“Transparency builds trust. We need to let the light shine in. It’s important we get this trade right for our farmers.”

The review will complement the review into the investigative capability, powers and culture of DAWR as the independent regulator, as well as the ASEL review (which was already running).

The review is slated for completion in time to make any recommended changes to the 2018 Northern Hemisphere summer trade, with the final report anticipated to be complete no later than 11 May.

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