Author Topic: "Independent" Inspector: Too little. Too late. Was never going to happen anyway.  (Read 3564 times)

WA Export News

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New live export scrutiny faces opposition.

THE federal government has moved to appease animal welfare advocates by creating a new position for an independent overseer of Australia's live animal export trade.

But the latest in a string of measures aiming to help rejuvenate the valuable agriculture sector has met with a tepid response from both sides of the live export debate.

Following recent controversy including a temporary ban on Australia's live cattle exports to Indonesia amid claims of animal mistreatment, Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon hopes to "restore public confidence" with the latest move.

Reporting directly to the minister, the inspector-general will review and audit live trade practices, adding an "important layer of independence to the regulatory system", Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The position comes in addition to the government's implementation of supply chain assurances and the requirement for a memorandum of understanding with new markets that take Australian livestock.

However the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council said the effectiveness of the examiner would depend on yet-to-be announced terms of reference which will govern the position.

The RSPCA voiced similar concerns, calling for the appointment of an absolutely impartial individual to the role "to properly scrutinise the live export trade and ensure vital improvements are implemented".

The announcement was blasted by welfare group Animals Australia.

"It has been instigated in support of the live trade rather than providing the independent input and oversight on animal welfare issues that the community has been calling for," spokeswoman Lisa Chalk told AAP.

Mr Fitzgibbon said legislation would be drafted to outline the scope and powers of the new role.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 06:17:31 PM by WA Export News »