Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has released the Moss Review into the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ (DAWR) role as regulator of the live export trade.
The review was initiated to address concerns about DAWR’s performance, following a television report on the treatment of sheep on live export boats.
The review made 31 recommendations to improve the DAWR’s regulatory culture and capability, and to make animal welfare a priority. The recommendations range from the creation of an Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports to introducing random unannounced inspections. These changes have been committed to by both DAWR and Mr Littleproud.
NSW Farmers’ recognises that most of the recommendations will help the industry rebuild trust. The reforms will enable the industry to demonstrate that they can operate to high standards and meet the community’s expectations. By building confidence in the industry, its animal welfare standards and its regulator, we can ensure the long-term sustainability of the trade.
The department must demonstrate that it can be an independent, transparent, effective and capable regulator. It’s hoped the review will provide the department a framework to continually improve itself and invest in the relevant skills, resources and integrated technology to allow it to operate appropriately.
The Association is requesting further information and details from DAWR and the Minister on some of the more ambiguous recommendations. The implications of a weak and ineffective live export regulator are too great for Australian sheep farmers to ignore. For the future of the trade, DAWR must improve its culture and become a modern, trusted and mature regulator that fosters a strong compliance culture.
- NSW Farmers’ sheepmeat’s committee chair Floyd Legge