Sheep export changes welcomed by peak producer body

Sheep Producers Australia has welcomed moves by Australian livestock exporters to bring cultural change to their industry and improve animal welfare outcomes, in line with the expectations of farmers and the community.

President Allan Piggott said sheep producers needed to be able to trust livestock exporters with their animals, once they leave their own farm gate, and are seeking genuine change in the industry for this to occur.

The specific changes outlined by the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council that SPA welcomes are:

  • At the direction of the regulator, an independent observer be placed on each Middle East voyage during the 2018 Northern Hemisphere summer.
  • Reduced stocking density and additional welfare safeguards and indicators.
  • Establishing a Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP) to deliver improved Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

“Current SPA policy does not support an Office for Animal Welfare and we are seeking more information on the move to extend the actions of the Inspector General for Biosecurity to oversee the welfare of exported animals,” Mr Piggott said.

“We need to know that exporters are not operating at minimum standards. Sheep producers want to have confidence in those exporting their sheep and we see these measures announced today as a good start in strengthening transparency, accountability and cultural change.

“Producers want best animal welfare outcomes. We want to know the same high standards of animal care are maintained once our sheep leave our properties. We are pleased that the livestock export industry is moving to make changes and we look forward to the trade’s animal welfare outcomes being improved in future.”

Source: Sheep Producers Australia

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