Exporters, farmers and communities can have confidence in the welfare of livestock exported from O’Connor after a Bill to establish an independent Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports passed the Senate.
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the announcement was welcome news for the industry.
“Our farmers have earnt a reputation of treating their animals well and this announcement will ensure welfare standards are maintained along the supply chain,” Mr Wilson said.
“In 2017, 878,000 cattle and 1.9 million sheep were exported Australia wide and our community wants to ensure that they reach their destination safely.”
Minister for Agriculture Senator Bridget McKenzie said the community deserved greater assurance that animal welfare outcomes for export livestock were being met and monitored.
“Australia’s livestock export industry is an important contributor to our rural and regional communities and to our national economy valued at $1.7 billion and supporting thousands of jobs,” Minister McKenzie said.
“It’s a legitimate trade, however, it won’t be conducted at the expense of animal welfare standards.
“This legislation is concrete proof of this government’s continued commitment to improving the trade—making sure the trade is well regulated and above board.
“Support for the Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports Bill 2019 means there’ll be an entrenched independent check on the Department of Agriculture’s application of the regulations and its exercise of power.
“Our livestock export system is already world class and the Inspector-General will only enhance that.
“I am confident that the Bill will pass the House of Representatives and become law.
“Once it does I will appoint a suitably qualified person to make sure the system is operating as it should—driving positive change in the industry, improving regulator performance and providing greater confidence to the general community about livestock exports.”