AGRICULTURE minister David Littleproud says he encourages stakeholders to contribute to the formulation of an issues paper to be released for public consultation as part of the Heat Stress Risk Assessment review.
“The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will develop a heat stress risk assessment model based on animal welfare outcomes,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This follows Dr Michael McCarthy’s review of the sheep trade during the northern summer.
“The McCarthy Review recommended a move from a heat stress risk assessment based on reducing risk of mortality to a model based on animal welfare.”
The live export trade has been under pressure since April following revelations of extreme cruelty to Australian sheep on ships bound for the Middle East.
Mr Littleproud said heat stress recommendations would be tested with the assistance of an expert technical panel across the animal welfare, heat stress and animal science fields and an Australian Maritime Safety Authority representative.
“Interested stakeholders should provide their views on assessing heat stress risk in the sheep trade during the northern summer, and to identify relevant research and information,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The HSRA Panel will work with the Technical Advisory Committee undertaking the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock review.”
Stakeholders can provide feedback to the issues paper via the ‘Have Your Say’ platform at haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/hsra-review. Submissions close 19 October.
There is to be further consultation on the findings and the new HSRA settings is to be drafted in 2018 for 2019 implementation.