Sheep Deaths Outcry Prompts Reforms
Australia's live animal exporters have agreed to significant measures to ensure the welfare of animals, following an outcry over the deaths of about 2400 sheep en route to the Middle East.
A meeting of the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council in Brisbane on Wednesday voted to support the establishment of independent observers to travel on voyages to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer this year.
ALEC chairman Simon Crean said the industry had embraced the need for significant changes to safeguard against high-mortality voyages.
The meeting also voted to support the establishment of an Inspector General for the Welfare of Exported Animals and exporters say they will work closely with the Minister for Agriculture regarding his department's ongoing regulation of the industry.
"Exporters are listening to the community and acting decisively to achieve change in the industry," Mr Crean said in a statement.
"The welfare of the animals and the future of our industry depends on it."
The federal government has launched reviews into the industry regulator and the northern summer trade of livestock, as well as a whistleblower hotline.
The findings of the veterinarian-led review into live export voyages to the Middle East will be handed down by May 11.