Chastened Australian livestock exporters vow to change

Following a prime time documentary exposé on terrestrial television 12 days ago Australian livestock exporters have now unveiled reform initiatives.

“Industry must lead the way in improved animal welfare outcomes and in building a culture and vision that supports this, in alignment with community expectations,” the chairman of the Autralian Livestock Exporting Council (ALEC) Simon Crean said.

The measures agreed upon by the council will be presented as part of the industry’s response to the McCarthy Review, which was announced by the nation’s agriculture minister last week in the wake of the 60 Minutes television documentary which showed shocking conditions onboard a livestock carrier engaged on trades from Australia to the Middle East.

“Exporters have confirmed their support for an independent observer, under the direction of the regulator, to travel on voyages to the Middle East during the 2018 Northern Hemisphere summer,” Crean said.

A reduced stocking density and additional welfare safeguards and indicators will be applied to all shipments of Australian sheep to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere’s high summer period.

Exporters have also supported the establishment of an inspector general for the welfare of exported animals.

“The role of inspector general would help oversee independence and cultural change in our industry and work constructively with exporters to improve animal welfare outcomes,” Crean said.

Exporters also voted in favour of the establishment of a Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP).

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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