WAFarmers has supported the announcement from Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud MP for a swift review into the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.
Announced this afternoon, the review will occur in the next four weeks and will consider live export into northern hemisphere summer conditions. The review will be headed by Michael McCarthy from Global Livestock Solutions, and has been announced as a result of the footage aired on 60 Minutes over the weekend that showed horrific conditions on the Awassi Express ship in 2017.
WAFarmers President Tony York said many producers felt the live export industry had been misrepresented.
“Like most, I had accepted the assurances that guidelines and protocols were being met; that arrangements were in place and that adequately ensure compliance of our ‘best practice, standards and guidelines’, however this is clearly not the case,” he said.
“We feel very strongly that if conditions cannot be managed then a ship must not be allowed to sail with our livestock on board, so we welcome any announcement into reviews and changes that would support this condition and that would see confidence restored in the industry.
“We expect exporters to prove that this loss of livestock will never happen again, and demand a collaborative and transparent review system which include the exporters releasing information regarding all voyages and vessels in the past few years so that high risk periods, such as northern hemisphere summers, can be clearly identified.
“Further, we demand that independent inspectors, which may include independent veterinarians, be on board during voyages, to monitor livestock conditions.
“It is our right as producers to demand this, and it is the responsibility of government, exporters and carriers to uphold these demands.”
Mr York said Mr McCarthy would be a strong representative for the live export trade, given his experience in the livestock sector and his qualifications as a veterinarian.
WAFarmers Livestock Council President David Slade congratulated the Minister on taking the initiative.
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].