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Live export-a chronology



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ISSN 2203-5249

RESEARCH PAPER SERIES, 2019-20 UPDATED 6 SEPTEMBER 2019

Live export—a chronology Claire Petrie Law and Bills Digest Section

Introduction The scale of Australia’s livestock export trade has expanded significantly over the last 30 years. The key area of growth has been in the export of live cattle, which rose from 81,500 head of cattle exported in 1988 to 1,239,700 in 2015, and 1,038,100 in 2018.1 In the same period live sheep exports have fallen from 7,101,300 sheep in 1988 to 1,214,500 in 2018 (see graph: ‘Live sheep and cattle exports, 1988 to 2018’, Appendix).2 Despite this decline, the total value of the live sheep and cattle trade has increased from $618.68 million in 1988 (in December 2018 dollars3) to just under $1.43 billion in 2018.4

As the trade has grown, numerous incidents involving livestock deaths and documented cruelty in destination countries have attracted public attention and prompted debate over whether Australia should continue the export of livestock for slaughter. At least ten government and parliamentary reviews since 1985 have examined the live export system and its associated animal welfare issues. These reviews have led to significant regulatory reform of the animal welfare standards to which exporters must adhere and of the level of oversight of the export process, although reports of regulatory breaches continue to occur.

This chronology provides a timeline of the major incidents, reviews and regulatory reforms which have occurred throughout the history of the Australian live export trade.

Animal welfare standards and oversight The development of the modern live export trade has been accompanied by continuing and significant public and veterinary concern for the health and welfare of transported livestock. Following accidents on livestock carriers in the 1980s, reviews into the trade reported shortcomings in animal husbandry practices and facilities on board export ships. These

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Livestock products, Australia, December 2018, cat. no. 7215.0, ABS, Canberra, 2019. Note that these figures do not include livestock exported for breeding. 2. Ibid. The fall may be attributed to a number of factors including increased competition in the market, particularly from India and eastern Africa; the impact of poor seasonal conditions such as drought on the availability of sheep suitable for live export;

suspension of exports to Saudi Arabia following the 2003 Cormo Express incident and subsequent difficulties entering into Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) arrangements with Saudi Arabia, previously Australia’s primary live sheep market. See: B Deards and N Thompson, ‘Competition in Australia’s live sheep export markets’, Agricultural Commodities, 2(2), June 2012, pp. 88-90, Informit database; Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), ‘MLA sheep industry projections—live sheep exports’, 2012, accessed via Wayback Machine Internet Archive; MLA, ‘Australian sheep—industry projections 2016’, 2016, p. 22, accessed via Wayback Machine Internet Archive. Live sheep export numbers also fell significantly during the 2018 northern hemisphere summer, in the aftermath of the release of footage of sheep suffering heat stress on board the Awassi Express: ABS, Livestock products, Australia, December 2018, op. cit. 3. The actual value of the live cattle and sheep trade in 1988 was $271.8 million. 4. ABS, Livestock products, Australia, December 2018, op. cit.

Live export—a chronology 2

recommended greater veterinary oversight, more comprehensive standards and mandatory reporting of incidents.5 The reviews acknowledged the tension between the increasing economic value of live export and animal welfare concerns. A 1985 review of the live sheep trade by the Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare reported:

… if a decision were to be made on the future of the trade purely on animal welfare grounds, there is enough evidence to stop the trade. The trade is, in many respects, inimical to good animal welfare, and it is not in the interests of the animal to be transported to the Middle East for slaughter.

The Committee agreed that the animal welfare aspects of the trade cannot be divorced from economic and other considerations … After consideration of all factors, the Committee acknowledges the reality of the situation that any short-term cessation or disruption to the trade would cause considerable dislocation both in Australia and in the Middle East.

6

This was also reflected in the ALP Government’s response to the report, with Minister for Government Business, Donald Grimes, noting:

[t]his trade is highly significant to rural Australia. It stabilises the value of all sheep by providing competition through additional markets thus helping to cushion the effects of droughts and broadening the range of management strategies available to the sheep industry for both livestock and crops. When the live sheep trade began expansion in 1973, the national flock had been experiencing an unprecedented decline.

… the General Conclusions of the report clearly confirm the position of the Government: the trade should continue provided that the welfare of the sheep is given the proper high priority it requires. 7

In 1997, as part of broader structural reforms to the meat industry, the Livestock Export Accreditation Program (LEAP) was implemented as an industry-operated quality assurance system encompassing the Australian Livestock Export Standards (ALES). The ALES set out detailed requirements which exporters were required to meet and were subject to review by the LEAP Accreditation and Standards Committee, consisting of representatives from each industry body. They were not prescribed under legislation or regulated externally.8

The 2003 Keniry Review, which drew on the findings and recommendations of a Government-established Independent Reference Group (IRG) in 2000 and 2002, found problems with enforceability under the existing framework and again stressed the need for national, mandatory standards.9 The Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), implemented in response to the Review, set out the animal health and welfare requirements with which exporters must comply as a condition of the export licence under the legislative scheme.10

5. See: Australian Bureau of Animal Health (ABAH), Sea transport of sheep, Australian Government Publishing Service (AGPS), Canberra, 1981; Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of live sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985. 6. Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of live sheep from Australia, op. cit., pp. 185-186. 7. D Grimes, ‘Committee reports—Government responses’, Senate, Debates, 11 February 1986, pp. 6-7. 8. Independent Reference Group (Australia) (IRG), A way forward on animal welfare: a report on the livestock export industry,

Canberra, 2-3 October 2002, p. 6. 9. J Keniry, Livestock export review: final report, report prepared for the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, [Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Canberra], 2003. 10. Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 and Australian Position Statement on the Export of

Livestock. The ASEL are given effect under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997, section 17; Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998, sections 14, 16 and 18; Export Control (Animals) Order 2004.

Live export—a chronology 3

Supply chain concerns In the last ten years reported incidents of animal cruelty overseas have shifted the focus to the treatment of Australian-exported animals in importing countries. The Keniry Review noted that a difficulty with the livestock trade is that companies holding export licences operate in a relatively limited part of the supply chain and do not see themselves as having responsibility for meeting standards at other stages in the export process. It found that once animals are loaded on an export ship:

[t]he animals do not carry the “brand” of the exporting company and therefore there is no inbuilt incentive for an individual export company to ensure and promote the quality of the product in the market. It also means that, inevitably, in the absence of a more specific brand, the animals are regarded as carrying a generic brand “Australia”. For this reason, if no other, the Australian Government has carried a greater degree of responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the trade and guaranteeing its quality.

11

Following the 2003 Cormo Express incident, in which Saudi Arabia rejected a shipment of 57,000 sheep on the basis of a scabby mouth infection, the Government suspended exports to Saudi Arabia for two years.12 The live trade to Egypt was suspended in 2006 after the release of footage showing the mistreatment of Australian cattle in a Cairo abattoir.13 However, supply chain concerns were brought to a head in 2011 when the Government suspended all live exports to Indonesia for six weeks following an ABC Four Corners broadcast of footage depicting animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs. The Farmer Review, commissioned in response to the incident, noted the ‘significant employment, human welfare and animal welfare concerns [which] emerged as a result of the suspension of the trade’.14 It found that new arrangements were needed to provide confidence that all supply chains were meeting the international standards established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in regard to animal transport and slaughter.15

The Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), first implemented for Indonesia in the immediate aftermath of the Four Corners program, has been subsequently rolled out to all importing countries. Under the scheme exporters must submit an ESCAS application. This application must contain details of the supply chain up to and including the point of slaughter, including the port of arrival, transport, handling and slaughter of the livestock, feedlots, independent auditing and reporting and access to premises.16

Trade with Indonesia The Government’s decision to suspend the cattle trade to all Indonesian abattoirs was highly controversial, particularly due to Indonesia being the leading market for Australian cattle, receiving approximately 64 per cent of live feeder and slaughter cattle exports between 2001 and

11. Keniry, Livestock export review: final report, op. cit., p. 14. 12. M Vaile (Minister for Trade) and W Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Livestock exports to Saudi Arabia suspended, media release, 28 August 2003. 13. J Kennedy, ‘Australia halts export of live animals to Egypt’, The World Today, ABC Radio, 27 February 2006. 14. B Farmer, Independent review of Australia’s livestock export trade, report prepared for DAFF, [DAFF, Canberra], 2011. 15. Ibid., p. 73; World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), ‘Animal welfare—OIE standards and international trade’, OIE website.

Australia has been a member of the OIE since 9 May 1927 — see: ‘OIE members details—Australia’, OIE website. The acronym OIE stems from the organisation’s historical name: ‘Office International des Epizooties’. 16. Department of Agriculture (DOA), ‘Legislative changes to the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System application and assessment process’, Export Advisory Notice 2014-16, DOA website, 13 November 2014.

Live export—a chronology 4

2010.17 The Coalition, in Opposition, argued that the suspension worked to penalise abattoirs which were compliant with OIE standards, and caused significant damage to the industry both in the short and long term.18 Although the Federal Government and the Cattle Council of Australia announced assistance packages for producers and related businesses, these measures were criticised by industry as inadequate to cover the costs and losses incurred as a result of the suspension.19 At the same time, there was significant public support for a ban on live exports, with rallies against the trade held in capital cities across the country and an online petition by lobby group GetUp attracting 200,000 signatures in three days.20

In December 2011 Indonesia announced significant reductions to its cattle imports. The Coalition and some industry figures attributed this, and subsequent cuts, to the export ban.21 276,295 Australian cattle were exported to Indonesia in 2012, in contrast with 514,935 in 2010 and 751,143 in 2009.22 Exports have subsequently rebounded—715,806 head of cattle were sent in 2014, and 577,981 in 2018.23 However, Indonesia has continued to signal a desire to achieve self-sufficiency in beef production.24

Current scheme and issues The current regulatory framework in place for livestock exports is complex. The issuing of a livestock export licence is governed by the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 (AMLI Act), the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998 (Export Licensing Regulations) and the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Regulations 1998 (AMLI Regulations). The Export Licensing Regulations expressly require export licence holders to comply with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock as a condition of the licence.25 The Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005 also provides that a licence holder must not export livestock except in accordance with the ASEL.

The preparation of livestock for export, including veterinarian accreditation, is regulated by the Export Control Act 1982 (EC Act) and the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 (ECA Order). The ECA Order stipulates that the export of livestock is prohibited unless:

• the exporter holds a livestock export licence under the AMLI Act

• the Secretary has approved an ESCAS

• the exporter has given the Secretary a Notice of Intention for export

17. MLA, ‘Live feeder and slaughter cattle exports by destination—calendar year’, MLA Statistics Database. Slaughter cattle are purchased for immediate slaughter after import, whereas feeder cattle require additional feeding in the importing country to reach a weight suitable for slaughter. See: DOA, Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, report, DOA, Canberra, January 2015, pp. 84-85.

18. J Cobb and W Truss, Live export suspension sends “wrong message”, media release, 8 June 2011. 19. J Gillard (Prime Minister) and J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), $30m assistance package for live export industry, media release, 30 June 2011; L Tingle, ‘Extra assistance fails to douse cattle farmers’ fury’, The Australian Financial Review, 1 July 2011, p. 17.

20. D Flitton, ‘Activists call for ban on live export trade’, The Age, 15 August 2011, p. 8; A Malley, ‘Right time to beef up supply-chain governance’, The Australian Financial Review, 10 June 2011, p. 59. 21. ‘Abbott chides Govt over live export cuts’, The Canberra Times, 17 December 2011, p. 11; S Neales, ‘Jakarta cuts live quota further’, The Weekend Australian, 1 December 2012, p. 2. 22. MLA, ‘Live feeder and slaughter cattle exports—calendar year’, MLA Statistics Database. 23. Ibid. 24. R Willingham, ‘Farmers worried as Indonesia plans to cut beef imports’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 December 2011, p. 5; T

Palmer, ‘Indonesia agrees to lift cattle imports’, transcript, ABC Canberra 666, 2 October 2013; B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Minister Joyce welcomes increase in Indonesian cattle quota, media release, 30 September 2015. 25. Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998, regulation 18.

Live export—a chronology 5

• the livestock are held before export, and assembled for export, in registered premises

• there is an approved arrangement for the exporter, and the livestock have been prepared in accordance with this

• an export permit for the export by the exporter is in force, and the livestock are exported to the place and by the means specified in the permit and

• the exporter complies with the approved ESCAS and any other conditions of the export permit.26

Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) The ECA Order provides for the form, content and approval of an ESCAS, the procedure and criteria for the granting of an export permit; and auditing requirements.27 The ESCAS must show that the exporter has a system of control in place for the transfer of livestock to a particular country which ensures:

• the livestock will be handled and slaughtered in the importing country in compliance with OIE animal welfare recommendations

• the exporter has control of all supply chain arrangements for livestock transport, management and slaughter, and all livestock remain in the supply chain

• the exporter can trace all livestock through the supply chain and

• the supply chain in the importing country is independently audited. 28

A submission for approval of an ESCAS must include results of an Independent Initial Audit to demonstrate conformity to the OIE recommendations throughout the supply chain. Independent Performance Audit Reports (IPARs) are submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) during the year at a frequency dependent on the facility’s risk rating.29 An audit is completed against the ESCAS animal welfare standards, which are consistent with the OIE recommendations.30

Despite the introduction of the ESCAS, reports of supply chain breaches have continued alongside criticism of the effectiveness of the existing enforcement mechanisms and procedures. The Australian Greens, animal welfare advocates and some exporters have argued that the regulatory scheme is ineffective in the absence of enforcement action by DAWR, such as the suspension of export licenses and imposition of penalties and criminal charges on offending export companies.31 As at November 2018, 163 regulatory compliance investigations have been, or are in the process of being undertaken, by the Department since February 2012.32 The Department has suspended or cancelled an export licence in only a small number of cases, and there are no publicly reported

26. Export Control (Animals) Order 2004, clause 1A.01. 27. Ibid., Division 1A.3, Division 1A.6 and Part 5. 28. DOA, ‘Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS)’, DOA website, last reviewed 2 November 2016. 29. Ibid. 30. DOA, ‘ESCAS animal welfare audit standards and auditor checklist’, Export Advisory Notice 2015-05, 20 March 2015. 31. L Rhiannon, New evidence further exposes live export regulation farce, media release, 13 October 2015; M Peacock, ‘Live

exporter joins animal rights activists in push for Middle East slaughtering procedure enforcement’, 7:30, transcript, 13 October 2015; also see L Ferris, ‘The effectiveness of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System’, FlagPost, Parliamentary Library blog, 24 May 2013. 32. DOA, ‘Regulatory compliance investigations’, DOA website, last reviewed 23 August 2019. Note that in the period from February 2012 to September 2019, the Department responsible for agriculture has been called the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR).

Live export—a chronology 6

cases of criminal sanctions being imposed.33 In the majority of cases where non-compliance has been established, the Department has imposed conditions on the ESCAS or the exporter’s licence.34

Following the 2013 election, the Abbott and Turnbull Governments placed a greater emphasis on industry self-regulation and established export markets in China, Cambodia and Thailand and reopened trade to Bahrain, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt. During this time, amendments were introduced to streamline the regulatory system, including:

• removing the requirement for a Memorandum of Understanding (which set out the conditions under which the live trade can be undertaken, including assurances that animals be unloaded on arrival, regardless of the results of an initial animal health inspection) to be in place with any new live export market35

• streamlining the export certification process to require that exporters submit ESCAS applications for each new export market rather than for each consignment36 and

• the introduction of new risk-based auditing requirements. 37

However, since April 2018 there has been a further regulatory shift, following the public broadcast of footage showing the suffering of sheep on board the export vessel Awassi Express, run by Perth exporter Emanuel Exports, on which approximately 2,400 sheep (3.76 per cent of the total number on board) died from heat stress.38 The footage led to a renewal of calls for either a total or partial ban on the live export trade, with private members and senators Bills introduced by members from a range of parties, including the Coalition, seeking to phase out long-haul live sheep exports.39 The Coalition Government resisted calls to ban the trade, instead announcing reviews into both the Department’s regulatory capabilities and culture, as well as the standards for the sheep trade during the Middle Eastern summer.40

Following reports from these reviews, the Government has made a number of changes to the regulatory scheme, including introducing new standards for livestock vessels, reducing the reportable sheep mortality level, and establishing an interim Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports to oversee the Department in its role as regulator.41 It has also banned the export of live

33. For reports of cases in which an export licence has been suspended or cancelled for breach of the ESCAS, see: DAWR, Live export licence cancelled, media release, 21 August 2018; DAWR, Second live export licence cancelled, media release, 5 September 2018; C Jasper, ‘One RuralCo live export company hit with licence cancellation’, ABC News website, 18 July 2016.

34. DOA, ‘Regulatory compliance investigations’, op. cit.; DOA, ‘Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS)’, op. cit., pp. 14, 47-51. 35. B Thompson, ‘Rule change tipped to trigger export surge’, The West Australian, 1 March 2014, p. 7; DOA, ‘Live animal export trade’, DOA website. 36. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), Office of Best Practice Regulation, ‘Approved arrangements for

livestock exports’, PM&C website, 21 January 2016; B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Improved on-shore arrangements for Australian live exporters, media release, 6 November 2015. 37. DOA, ‘Revised risk-based auditing requirements for ESCAS’, Export Advisory Notice 2015-06, 23 March 2015. 38. ‘Live sheep exports’, Sixty Minutes, 8 April 2018; C Wahlquist, ‘Shocking live export conditions not uncommon, say animal rights groups’, The Guardian (Australia), 9 April 2018. 39. For example: Parliament of Australia, ‘Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill 2018 homepage’, Australian Parliament website; Parliament of Australia, ‘Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long-haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018 homepage’, Australian Parliament website. 40. D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Live exports, media release, 9 April 2018; D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Review of sheep exports to Middle East during northern summer, media release, 16 April 2018. 41. Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Amendment (Reportable Sheep Mortality Level) Order 2018 (Cth); Marine Order 43 (Cargo and cargo handling — livestock) 2018 (Cth); D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Independent Inspector-General takes office to oversee live animal exports regulation, media release, 19 March 2019.

Live export—a chronology 7

sheep to the Middle East for the 2019 Northern Summer—a measure which the industry had previously announced it would voluntarily adopt.42 The ban appears to be a temporary measure pending the release of a final report and recommendations by a Technical Reference Panel conducting a review into heat stress risk assessment.43

This chronology is updated to the end of the 45th Parliament.

Abbreviations ABAH Australian Bureau of Animal Health

ALEC Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council

ALES Australian Livestock Export Standards

AMIEU Australian Meat Industry Employees Union

AQIS Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

ASEL Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock

DAFF Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DAWR Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

DOA Department of Agriculture

ESCAS Export Supply Chain Assurance System

IGWG Industry Government Working Group

IRG Independent Reference Group

LEAP Livestock Export Accreditation Program

LESAG Livestock Export Standards Advisory Group

MLA Meat and Livestock Australia

OIE World Organisation for Animal Health

42. ALEC, Sheep moratorium part of industry re-set, media release, 4 December 2018; Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Prohibition of Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East—Northern Summer) Order 2019 (Cth); Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Amendment (Northern Summer) Order 2019 (Cth).

43. DOA, ‘Heat stress risk assessment for the export of sheep to the Middle East’, DOA website, last reviewed 14 June 2019.

Live export—a chronology 8

Chronology

Milestones Details Source Documents

1830s Early live sheep exports

A domestic trade in live sheep is established between the colonies, with approximately 20,000 sheep transported from Tasmania to Port Phillip in Victoria by June 1836.

From 1845 small shipments of live sheep are exported from Western Australia to Mauritius and Singapore.

Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live Sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985, p. 3

J Kociumbas, The Oxford History of Australia, v 2, 1770- 1860, p. 195

The Inquirer, 22 January 1845, p. 2

The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 1 November 1845, p. 2

1885 to 1889 Early years of the international trade

Cattle shipments are sent from the Northern Territory to Hong Kong and subsequently Singapore and Indonesia. This is suspended around 1889 due to the outbreak of disease, and live trade appears to have occurred intermittently, and on a relatively small-scale, through the first half of the twentieth century.

J Keniry, Livestock Export Review: Final Report, report prepared for the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, [Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra], 2003, p. 10

1926 Introduction of prescribed standards

The Navigation (Deck Cargo and Livestock) Regulations 1926 are introduced to regulate the export of livestock. They prescribe standards for the carrying of livestock including pen and stall sizes and the provision of food and ventilation. The Regulations remain largely unchanged until 1983.

Navigation (Deck Cargo and Livestock) Regulations 1926 (Cth)

Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live Sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985, p. 3

1935 Mandatory veterinary checks

The Quarantine (Animals) Regulations 1935 are introduced and require animals for export to be

Quarantine (Animals) Regulations 1935 (Cth)

Minister for Primary

Live export—a chronology 9

Milestones Details Source Documents

examined by a government-approved veterinary surgeon within 48 hours of shipment, to ensure that they are healthy and meet quarantine requirements of the importing country.

Industry, Information paper on export of livestock for slaughter, media release, 11 May 1980

1952 Livestock Advisory Committee formed

A Livestock Advisory Committee is established by the Department of Shipping and Transport to draw up live export specifications and standards. The Committee’s membership includes representatives from the Department of Commerce, livestock shipping companies and ship-fitting companies.

Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live Sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985, p. 4

1958 Customs regulations

The Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 are introduced and require a permit to be issued by the Minister for Primary Industry or authorised officer for all live exports of sheep and cattle.

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (Cth)

P Nixon (Minister for Primary Industry), Information paper on export of livestock for slaughter, media release, 11 May 1980

1960s Middle East trade begins

Trade commences to the Middle East, with ships loaded at Fremantle and Adelaide and unloaded at ports in the Persian Gulf, principally in Kuwait.

Through the 1960s and 1970s the live export trade expands further, with the introduction of ships with capacity to carry 50,000 sheep.

Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live Sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985, p. 4

Australian Bureau of Animal Health (ABAH), Sea Transport of Sheep, report prepared for the Minister for Primary Industry, Canberra, 1981, p. 1

1973 to 1978 Union campaign against live exports

The Australian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) begins industrial action targeting the live export trade and its impact on meat processing and carcass exports. The union pickets ports in SA and WA to prevent the loading of sheep onto export ships.

M Jerrard, ‘Exporting animals, exporting jobs: 30 years of campaigning against live export’ in G Patmore, J Shields and N Balnave (eds),

Live export—a chronology 10

Milestones Details Source Documents

In August 1978 the Government convenes a conference on live sheep export with industry and union representatives. It subsequently establishes an Advisory Group on Middle East Market Promotion which includes two AMIEU nominees and is tasked with developing Middle Eastern markets for carcass exports.

The Past is Before Us, Proceedings of the ninth National Labour History Conference, University of Sydney, 30 June-2 July 2005, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Sydney, 2005, pp. 159-166

M Fraser (Prime Minister), The meat industry dispute, media release, 9 April 1978

A Street (Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations), Conference on live sheep export, media release, 69/78, 18 August 1978

I Sinclair (Minister for Primary Industry), Advisory Group on Middle East Market Promotion, media release, 21 September 1978

27 March 1980 Farid Fares disaster

One crew member and more than 40,000 sheep die when Lebanese-registered livestock carrier Farid Fares catches fire and sinks en route from Tasmania to Iran. In response to criticisms of the live trade in the wake of the disaster, the Government sends a veterinarian from the Australian Bureau of Animal Health (ABAH) to the Middle East on board a live export vessel to investigate the health, welfare and handling of the sheep at sea.

R Hunt (Minister for Transport), Farid Fares fire and sinking, media release, 80/1489, 29 July 1980

P Nixon, ‘Answer to Question without notice: export of live sheep’, [Questioner: P Falconer], House of Representatives, Debates, 13 May 1980, p. 2600

Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live

Live export—a chronology 11

Milestones Details Source Documents

Sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985, p. 5

April 1981 Australian Bureau of Animal Health report

The ABAH publishes a report of its investigations. The report notes the need for improved animal husbandry practices in light of the rapid growth of the trade, finding that sheep are often handled and supervised by unskilled persons and suffer from poor conditions and ventilation. Its recommendations include:

• increased veterinary supervision at critical stages of the journey

• further research into the special needs of the sheep and issues such as ship design, prevention of disease, waste disposal and food provision and

• an ongoing and improved program of inspections and mandatory reporting to the ABAH.

The Government accepts all of the report’s recommendations.

ABAH, Sea Transport of Sheep, report prepared for the Minister for Primary Industry, Canberra, 1981

P Nixon (Minister for Primary Industry), ‘Sea transport of sheep’, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 April 1981, p. 1441

J Kerin (Shadow Minister for Primary Industry), Sea transport of sheep, media release, 8 April 1981

1982 Reforms to meat and livestock export

Parliament passes the Export Control Act 1982 (Cth) and Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation Amendment Act 1982 (Cth) in the wake of claims of fraud and meat substitution. All existing export licences are withdrawn, and applications for a meat or livestock export licence must meet new integrity requirements and criteria relating to product health, grading and trade descriptions.

Export Control Act 1982 (Cth)

Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation Amendment Act 1982 (Cth)

P Nixon, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Meat and Live-Stock Corporation Amendment Bill 1982’, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 April 1982, p. 2108

March to August 1982 Steps to develop sheep meat markets A Government-sponsored mission of industry

and union representatives visits the Middle East to study sheep meat markets. The Government subsequently announces an agreement with the

Report of the Australian Sheep Meat Study Mission to the Middle East, March-April 1982, Department of Primary Industry (DPI),

Live export—a chronology 12

Milestones Details Source Documents

industry and unions to establish a sheep meat market development fund under the auspices of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation.

Canberra, 1982

B Childs, ‘Australian Sheep Meat Study Mission to the Middle East: report and ministerial statement’, Senate, Debates, 20 May 1982, p. 2229

DPI, Government policies and the rural sector as at August 1982, media release, 15 October 1982

August 1983 to January 1984 Australian Livestock Export Industry Advisory Committee

The Australian Livestock Export Industry Advisory Committee is established in response to high livestock mortality rates during export. The Committee’s membership includes representatives from various industry and government bodies and it reports to the Minister for Primary Industry on all matters concerning livestock exports.

J Kerin (Minister for Primary Industry), Livestock Export Industry Advisory Committee, media release, PI 83/175, 10 August 1983

June 1985 Senate report on live sheep export

The Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare releases its report on the Export of Live Sheep from Australia, finding that the live export trade is ‘inimical to good animal welfare’, but that stopping it in the short-term would cause ‘considerable dislocation’ in Australia and the Middle East. It recommends extensive reforms to help ‘reduce but not eliminate stress, suffering and risk’, including:

• mandatory standards for the carrying of livestock

• veterinary inspection of carriers before departure, and government veterinary officers travelling on a percentage of live sheep carriers to the Middle East

• compulsory reporting of sheep mortalities

• research into various welfare aspects of the live sheep trade and

• legislation to give the Australian Agricultural

Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live Sheep from Australia, The Senate, Canberra, 1985

D Grimes, ‘Committee reports—Government responses’, Statement on the Report of the Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Export of Live Sheep from Australia, Senate, Debates, 11 February 1986, pp. 6-11

D Chipp, ‘Animal welfare’, Senate, Debates,

Live export—a chronology 13

Milestones Details Source Documents

Health and Quarantine Service responsibility for the health and welfare of sheep from arrival at an export feedlot to loading on board a carrier.

The Government accepts recommendations for improvement of standards but does not make legislative changes, noting that ‘animal husbandry is not readily subject to detailed legislation’.

16 November 1983, pp. 2615-2619

1989 to 1990 Suspension of trade with Saudi Arabia

In July and August 1989 two vessels carrying Australian sheep are prevented from unloading their cargo by Saudi Arabian authorities due to scabby mouth.44 Examinations by an Australian veterinarian reveal no sign of disease, however the Saudi Arabian livestock trade is temporarily suspended, resuming in December 1989. After another shipment is rejected in November 1990 the live trade with Saudi Arabia is again suspended and does not resume until 1999.

J Kerin (Minister for Primary Industries and Energy), Rejection of Australian sheep by Saudi Arabia, media release, 1 August 1989

P Cook, ‘Answer to Question without notice: live sheep exports’, [Questioner: D Foreman], Senate, Debates, 29 August 1989, p. 460

WA Department of Agriculture and Food, The Economic Importance to Western Australia of Live Animal Exports, Western Australian Agriculture Authority, July 2011, pp. 7-8

August 1996 67,000 sheep die on board Uniceb

One crew member and 67,000 sheep are killed when the Uniceb—registered in Panama and chartered by Wellard Rural Exports—catches fire and sinks in the Indian Ocean while travelling from Fremantle to Jordan. Fifty-four crew members are rescued by a passing

V Gurvich, ‘Fire on ship kills 67,000 sheep’, The Age, 5 September 1996, p. 2

D Brownhill, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Animal

44. Scabby mouth is a highly contagious viral disease of sheep and goats that causes scabs and pustules, usually around the mouth and face of affected animals. It is a significant disease for live export, where the concentration of sheep during backgrounding and shipping allows the virus, if present, to rapidly spread. For more information see: WA Department of Agriculture and Food (WADAF), ‘Scabby mouth in sheep’, WADAF website, last updated 22 June 2018.

Live export—a chronology 14

Milestones Details Source Documents

freighter. Health Council (Live-

stock Industries) Funding Bill 1996’, Senate, Debates, 10 October 1996, p. 3902

1997 to 1998 Livestock industry reforms

The Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act 1997 (Cth) (AMLI Act) introduces structural reforms to the meat industry, creating industry-owned and run organisations in place of the old statutory bodies. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Australian Livestock Export Corporation Ltd (LiveCorp) are responsible for administering the live export trade.

The Livestock Export Accreditation Program (LEAP), an industry-developed quality assurance scheme, is implemented, subject to independent third party audit.

J Anderson (Minister for Primary Industries and Energy), Minister introduces historic legislation for meat industry reform, media release, 1 October 1997

J Anderson, ‘Second reading speech: Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Bill 1997’, House of Representatives, Debates, 1 October 1997, p. 8845

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 (Cth)

T Johnston, ‘Live exports recover’, The Weekly Times, 27 January 1999, p. 10

January 1999 Vietnam trade begins

The Northern Territory sends its first shipment of 950 cattle to Ho Chi Minh City. The trade is expected to involve about 12,000 head of cattle per annum, with a potential increase of up to 40,000.

‘950 Territory cattle set sail for Vietnam’, The Northern Territory News, 28 January 1999

January 1999 Deaths at sea

Eight hundred cattle owned by the Sultan of Brunei suffocate when travelling from Darwin to Indonesia after the ship’s generator fails. The Australian Veterinary Association calls for a Cabinet-level investigation into live export deaths, stating that ‘the people of Australia and

Australian Veterinary Association, AVA demands Prime Minister act on mass cattle deaths, media release, 29 January 1999

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the veterinary profession have lost confidence in this entire process’. B Mitchell, ‘Sultan’s cattle die on live-export

ship’, The Age, 29 January 1999, p. 7

February 2000 Independent Reference Group report

An Independent Reference Group (IRG) is established to assess the current state of the livestock export trade and the appropriateness of arrangements for managing animal welfare. It recommends a restructure of present industry arrangements for LEAP and ALES, and a review of existing processes, legislation and regulation.

Summary of recommendations at Appendix D of B Farmer, Independent Review of Australia’s Livestock Export Trade, report prepared for DAFF, [DAFF, Canberra], 2011

December 2002 Second IRG report

The second IRG report points to systemic failures within the live animal export program and associated framework. It recommends improved risk assessment and risk communication measures and better co-ordination between the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and LiveCorp when investigating and reporting incidents.

In line with the report’s recommendations, an Industry Consultative Committee is established to develop a sustainable export framework.

Independent Reference Group (Australia) (IRG), A Way Forward on Animal Welfare: a Report on the Livestock Export Industry, IRG, [Canberra], 2002

Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Official committee Hansard, 10 February 2003, p. 3

August to October 2003 MV Cormo Express incident Saudi Arabia rejects a shipment of 57,000 sheep

on board the MV Cormo Express due to scabby mouth infection. After a further eight weeks at sea the sheep are sent to Eritrea. 5,581 sheep die on board. The Government temporarily suspends shipments to Saudi Arabia, and farmers associations and animal activists call for a review of the industry.

In October the Agriculture Minister, Warren Truss, announces an investigation into the livestock export industry and the MV Cormo Express incident, to be led by Dr John Keniry, former President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

M Vaile (Minister for Trade) and W Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Livestock exports to Saudi Arabia suspended, media release, 28 August 2003

W Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Minister announces live export industry review, media release, 10 October 2003

R Beeby, ‘NFF calls for

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live export inquiry’, The Canberra Times, 27 September 2003, p. 2

L McIlveen, ‘Sacrificial lambs’, The Advertiser, 2 October 2003, p. 19

J Koutsoukis, ‘Flock horror finally ends in Eritrea’, The Australian Financial Review, 25 October 2003, p. 4

January 2004 Keniry report released

The Keniry Review report is publicly released. It criticises the industry’s approach to animal welfare as involving ‘incremental improvements to the current arrangements rather than rigorously analysing the underlying cause of the problems’ and recommends:

• a national standard which focuses on the health and welfare of animals during export

• the government, rather than industry, become responsible for the approval of export licences and permits

• AQIS be given full regulatory responsibility for ensuring exported animals meet the national standards

• veterinarians contracted by AQIS be placed aboard all livestock export ships where the journey will take over 10 days, and at least 10% of other voyages

• exports be banned when the available evidence indicates risk is high (such as shipments leaving southern Australian ports in the winter months) and

• the establishment of an operational quarantine holding facility in the Middle East.

J Keniry, Livestock Export Review: Final Report, report prepared for the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, [Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Canberra], 2003

March to June 2004 Government response to Keniry Review The Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Legislation Amendment (Export Control) Act 2004 (Cth) and Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 implement changes recommended by the Keniry Review, including a new Australian Code

W Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), $11.3 million to implement livestock trade reform recommendations, media release,

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for the Export of Livestock and annual licensing arrangements for exporters. The 2004-05 Budget allocates $11.3 million over four years to implement the government’s response to the Review.

Not all recommendations are accepted: exporters remain responsible for contracting veterinarians, and southern ports are not closed over winter, though port facilities are to be improved.

11 May 2004

‘Summary of response to report recommendations’, Explanatory Memorandum, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Export Control) Bill 2004, Appendix A, p. 18

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Export Control) Act 2004 (Cth)

Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 (Cth)

April 2004 to July 2005 Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock

DAFF establishes the Livestock Export Standards Advisory Committee (LESAC) to oversee the development of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).

Version 1 of the ASEL is released in July 2005, and given effect by the Australian Meat and Live-stock (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998 (Cth) and Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005 (Cth). Applications for export licences must be assessed against ASEL compliance.

DAFF, Review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock; Review of the Livestock Export Standards Advisory Group: Final report, DAFF, [Canberra], 31 May 2013, pp. 9-11

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Order 2005 (Cth)

Australian Meat and Live-stock (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998 (Cth), sections 14 and 16

DAFF, Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 and Australian Position Statement on the Export of Livestock,

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DAFF website, 2011

May 2005 Saudi Arabia trade resumes

The live export trade with Saudi Arabia resumes following the signing of an MOU and the construction of a quarantine facility at Jeddah. Under the terms of the MOU exporters must obtain valid import permits for Saudi Arabia, and the unloading of livestock must commence within 36 hours of the vessel berthing.

W Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Welfare of livestock put first in resuming trade with Saudi Arabia, media release, 4 May 2005

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Live-stock to Saudi Arabia) Order 2005 (Cth)

February 2006 Suspension of live exports to Egypt

The 60 Minutes program broadcasts footage of the mistreatment of Australian cattle in the Bassateen abattoir in Cairo, Egypt. Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran announces a ban on live cattle exports to Egypt whilst claims of mistreatment are investigated.

Exports resume in 2008 following the signing of MOUs which require cattle to be handled and slaughtered in accordance with international World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) standards, and permit only the use of a new abattoir at the port of Ain Sokhna.

R Carleton , ‘A cruel trade’, 60 Minutes, 26 February 2006

J Kennedy, ‘Australia halts export of live animals to Egypt’, The World Today, ABC Radio, 27 February 2006

C Alexander, ‘Live export ban lifted despite fears of cruelty’, The Canberra Times, 10 May 2008, p. 13

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Live-stock to Egypt) Order 2008 (Cth)

February 2008 Al Kuwait case

The Magistrates Court of Western Australia finds an operational inconsistency between the Commonwealth live export regime—specifically orders made pursuant to the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act 1997—and the Western Australian Animal Welfare Act 2002 (AWA). The AWA is held invalid to the extent of this inconsistency and, as a result, an exporter found to have breached the AWA whilst

Department of Local Government & Regional Development v Emanuel Exports Pty Ltd; Graham Richard Daws and Michael Anthony Stanton (unreported, Magistrates Court of WA, Crawford M,

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transporting sheep for live export is acquitted. 8 February 2008)

December 2010 ABC broadcasts footage of cruelty in Kuwait

The 7:30 Report program broadcasts footage appearing to show Australian sheep in Kuwait being handled and slaughtered brutally during preparations for the three-day festival of sacrifice. Meat and Livestock Australia argue that animal welfare education programs are needed in Kuwait, pointing to improvements flowing from such programs in Bahrain and Qatar.

L Kerin, ‘Calls for live export ban to the Middle East’, ABC AM, transcript, 3 December 2010

30 May 2011 Four Corners report: ‘A Bloody Business’

The ABC Four Corners program broadcasts footage of the slaughter of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs which depicts traditional rope slaughter, use of slaughter restraint boxes, failure to stun cattle prior to slaughter as well as the kicking and hitting of animals. The Government immediately suspends live cattle exports to the eleven Indonesian abattoirs under investigation.

There is a strong public response to the incident. An online petition set up by lobby group GetUp, calling for a ban on live exports to Indonesia, gains more than 200,000 signatures in three days. On 2 June 2011 Labor MP Melissa Parke presents a petition to Parliament signed by 40,649 people, calling for an end to live exports to the Middle East. Similar petitions presented in August collectively attract more than 38,500 signatures.

S Ferguson, ‘A bloody business’, ABC Four Corners, 30 May 2011

K Barlow, ‘Live export ban hits 11 Indonesian abattoirs’, ABC Lateline, 31 May 2011

M Parke, ‘Petition: live animal exports’, House of Representatives, Debates, 2 June 2011, p. 5759

‘Petitions: live animal exports’, House of Representatives, Debates, 22 August 2011, pp. 8683, 8685

A Malley, ‘Right time to beef up supply-chain governance’, Australian Financial Review, 10 June 2011, p. 59

8 June 2011 Suspension of live trade to Indonesia

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig extends the live cattle trade suspension to all Indonesian abattoirs until the establishment of new safeguards for the trade. A supply chain review of all markets is announced, headed by Bill Farmer, and industry-government working

Export Control (Export of Live-stock to the Republic of Indonesia) Order 2011 (Cth)

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Minister

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groups are tasked with reporting on a process for implementing a supply chain regulatory framework.

The Coalition opposes the suspension, claiming that it penalises both North Australian cattle producers and compliant importers.

suspends live cattle trade to Indonesia, media release, 8 June 2011

J Cobb and W Truss, Live export suspension sends “wrong message", media release, 8 June 2011

June to November 2011 Private member’s Bills The Greens’ Live Animal Export (Slaughter)

Prohibition Bill 2011, introduced in both houses, proposes to immediately prohibit the live export of animals for slaughter. Independents Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon introduce the Live Animal Export Restriction and Prohibition Bill 2011 into the House of Representatives and Senate respectively, seeking to prohibit livestock export after 1 July 2014.

The two Bills before the Senate are referred to the Senate Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee, which recommends that neither be passed. The two Bills before the House of Representatives are negatived at the second reading stage in August 2011.

Parliament of Australia, 'Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2] homepage’, Australian Parliament website

Parliament of Australia, ‘Live Animal Export Restriction and Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2] homepage’, Australian Parliament website

Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Animal welfare standards in Australia’s live export markets: Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2]; Live Animal Export Restriction and Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2], The Senate, 23 November 2011

29 June 2011 Assistance packages for industry

Government assistance in response to the export ban includes:

• $5m welfare contingency fund for cattle stranded in pre-export holding yards, to be administered by the Cattle Council of

J Rickard, ‘$5m fund for stranded cattle’, The West Australian, 30 June 2011, p. 18

J Gillard (Prime Minister), $30m

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Australia

• $30m Live Exports Assistance Package for primary producers and related businesses

• a subsidised interest rate on new loans for affected businesses, and grants for obtaining financial advice and

• a Northern Territory Government freeze on pastoral lease rents.

assistance package for live export industry, media release, 30 June 2011

A Betts, ‘Cattle producers get rent reprieve in goodwill gesture’, The Northern Territory News, 9 August 2011, p. 9

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Live export assistance, media release, 6 September 2011

July 2011 Resumption of trade to Indonesia and introduction of ESCAS

The Government lifts the ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia on 6 July and introduces new export permit requirements for Indonesia under the Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) framework. Under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Live-stock to the Republic of Indonesia) Order 2011 (No. 2) an export licence holder may only receive approval to export livestock to Indonesia where it has arrangements to ensure that the consignment’s transport, handling, slaughter and related operations will be performed in accordance with OIE recommendations.

The first consignment is exported under ESCAS on 10 August. Rallies against live export are held in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide.

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Live-stock to the Republic of Indonesia) Order 2011 (No. 2)

Department of Agriculture, ‘Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS)’, DOA website, 2016

J Lynch, ‘Cattle exporters to resume live trade’, The Age, 7 July 2011, p. 1

D Flitton, ‘Activists call for ban on live export trade’, The Age, 15 August 2011, p. 8

26 August 2011 Industry Government Working Groups

Industry Government Working Groups (IGWG) on Live Sheep and Goat Exports and Live Cattle Exports release their final reports. The cattle working group proposes a modified form of the ESCAS framework be extended to all markets. The sheep and goats working group proposes a similar regulatory framework requiring

Industry Government Working Group on Live Sheep and Goat Exports, Final report to Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,

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accountability for animal welfare at each stage of the supply chain. 26 August 2011 Industry Government

Working Group on Live Cattle Exports, Report to Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 26 August 2011

August 2011 Release of footage from Turkey and Israel

Animals Australia releases footage from Turkish abattoirs depicting slaughtering practices which appear to violate international standards. Footage shot by Israeli group Anonymous for Animal Rights is also released, depicting Australian cattle being hit with spike-tipped poles whilst being unloaded from a truck in Israel.

M Johnston and N Clark, ‘Turkish footage of cruelty fuels debate’, The Hobart Mercury, 19 August 2011, p. 15

R Willingham, ‘Video shows cattle cruelty’, The Age, 25 August 2011, p. 7

31 August 2011 Farmer Review report

The Farmer Review report finds that, despite improvements to domestic elements of the export supply chain since the Keniry Review and introduction of the ASEL, problems remain. These include a lack of nationally consistent and enforceable standards and insufficient understanding of the conditions and practices in importing countries. The report’s recommendations include:

• that the Commonwealth, states and territories more clearly articulate their respective roles and responsibilities for regulating the supply chain

• developing enforceable welfare standards in place of existing Codes of Practice

• that industry develop a through-chain quality assurance system to complement government regulation and

• that the ESCAS for live export to Indonesia be developed for all supply chain markets.

B Farmer, Independent Review of Australia’s Livestock Export Trade, [DAFF, Canberra], 2011

21 October 2011 Government response to Farmer Review

The Government agrees or agrees in principle to all recommendations made by the Farmer

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, ‘Australian Government response

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Review and IGWGs, and commits to phasing in the ESCAS model so that it covers 75 per cent of the trade by 29 February 2012, 99 per cent by 31 August 2012 and 100 per cent by 31 December 2012.

to the Independent Review of Australia's Livestock Export Trade, DAWR.

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Gillard Government reforms live export trade, media release, 21 October 2011

Export Control (Animals) Amendment Order 2012 (No. 1)

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Conditions on Live-stock export licences) Order 2012

31 October 2011 Private Member’s Bill on mandatory stunning

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie introduces the Livestock Export (Animal Welfare Conditions) Bill 2011 which proposes to mandate that all exported livestock be stunned prior to slaughter. The Bill is not debated and is reintroduced, unsuccessfully, in 2012.

Parliament of Australia, ‘Livestock Export (Animal Welfare Conditions) Bill 2011 homepage‘

‘Wilkie drafts stunning Bill’ The Courier Mail, 1 November 2011, p. 23

December 2011 Indonesia cuts import quotas

Indonesia announces that it will reduce its cattle imports from 520,000 animals in 2011 to 280,000 in 2012. Further cuts are announced in December 2012. Industry representatives attribute the cuts to Indonesia’s plan to diversify markets and be self-sufficient in beef by 2014, as well as to the export ban.

R Willingham, ‘Farmers worried as Indonesia plans to cut beef imports’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 December 2011, p. 5

S Neales, ‘Jakarta cuts live quota further’, The Weekend Australian, 1 December 2012, p. 2

1 March 2012 ESCAS applies to first tranche of export markets

ESCAS is implemented for live animal exports to Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Turkey, in addition

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Live export reform

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to existing arrangements in Indonesia and Egypt. progresses, media release, 1 March 2012

July 2012 Government response to Senate inquiry

Responding to the 2011 Senate inquiry into the private member’s Bills, the Government announces a review of the ASEL and Livestock Export Standards Advisory Group (LESAG) and promises to:

• make $5 million available to support exporters to deliver improved supply chains and

• allocate a further $10 million from the Official Development Assistance (ODA) contingency reserve to eligible countries importing Australian livestock to improve animal welfare outcomes.

Australian Government Response (July 2012) to the Senate Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee report, Animal Welfare Standards in Australia’s Live Export Markets, November 2011

G Gray (Minister for the Public Service and Integrity), Support for live export Senate inquiry, media release, 20 July 2012

1 September 2012 Second tranche of ESCAS is rolled out

The ESCAS is extended to apply to Israel, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Oman, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the UAE.

‘ESCAS extends to 99pc of Australian markets’, Beef Central website, 2 September 2012

September 2012 Kuwait and Bahrain reject sheep shipments

Kuwait and Bahrain reject sheep shipments due to claimed outbreaks of scabby mouth. The Bahrain-blocked Ocean Drover is subsequently diverted to Karachi, Pakistan, where the sheep are culled by Pakistani disease control authorities.

The incident leads to rallies and calls for a ban on live exports. A report commissioned by the Pakistani Government finds ‘serious lapses’ in protocol by its own quarantine officers, the Australian exporter and Pakistani importer. Australian exporters temporarily suspend exports to Pakistan and Bahrain. A DAFF investigation into the incident, released in July 2013, finds that the culling of the sheep in Pakistan was beyond the exporter’s control.

E Alberici, ‘Kuwait and Bahrain reject live sheep’, ABC Lateline, 3 September 2012

A Hodge, ‘Blame aplenty in Karachi slaughter’, The Weekend Australian, 3 November 2012, p. 2

S Ferguson, ‘Another bloody business’, ABC Four Corners, 5 November 2012

DAFF, Report into a Wellard Rural Exports consignment of sheep exported to Pakistan, investigation report, July 2013

6 September 2012 Supply chain breaches in Kuwait K Brewster, ‘Sheep export bans ignored’,

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Following the release of footage of 200 Australian sheep being sold in an unaccredited Kuwait City meat market, a DAFF investigation finds evidence of non-compliance with ESCAS requirements. It directs three exporters to strengthen the control and traceability of future consignments. A further investigation is undertaken after a similar complaint is made in January 2013, with DOA finding that the ESCAS is unlikely to detect small numbers of sheep leaking from approved supply chains.

transcript, ABC Lateline, 6 September 2012

DAFF, Report into a Complaint from Animals Australia Alleging Non-compliance in August 2012 with Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System Requirements in Kuwait, DAFF, Canberra, May 2013

DOA, Sheep exported to Kuwait, Compliance investigation report, 8, January 2014

December 2012 Footage of cruelty in Israeli abattoir

The 7:30 program broadcasts footage of cattle being beaten and poked in the eyes and genitals with stun guns at the Bakar Tnuva abattoir in Israel. The abattoir had passed an audit commissioned by Australian company Elders in July 2012, raising concerns about the auditing process.

C Duffy, ‘Israeli abattoir abuse questions Australia’s live export system’, ABC 7:30, 11 December 2012

M Rout and S Neales, ‘Slaughter sparks ALP backlash’, The Australian, 13 December 2012, p. 7

January 2013 ESCAS extended to 100% of live export markets

ESCAS requirements are extended to the third and final tranche of live export markets which includes Brunei, Mauritius, Russia and Vietnam.

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Animal welfare reforms to cover 100% of Australia’s livestock trade, media release, 31 December 2012

April 2013 Breeder livestock export report

An Industry Government Implementation Group report on conditions for the export trade in breeder livestock recommends:

• DAFF and industry review the criteria and processes for confirming the legitimacy of consignments

Industry Government Implementation Group, Breeder Livestock Exports: Report to Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, [DAFF,

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• industry establish arrangements for managing the risks of leakage of Australian breeder livestock into slaughter chains and

• DAFF require a declaration that the exporter has completed due diligence and is satisfied of acceptable animal welfare outcomes at the first breeder facility in the importing country.

The Government accepts all recommendations.

Canberra], April 2013

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), Working group report recommendations adopted, media release, 30 April 2013

May 2013 Suspension of trade to Egypt

The industry suspends trade with Egypt following the release of footage by Animals Australia of ‘systemic and routine abuse’ of cattle at the two Egyptian abattoirs accredited under the ESCAS.

J Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), ‘Egypt live cattle trade’, transcript of interview with Martin Cuddihy, ABC AM, 4 May 2013

May to June 2013 Proposals for independent Office of Animal Welfare

Greens MP Adam Bandt and Senator Lee Rhiannon introduce Bills to establish an independent Office of Animal Welfare to oversee the live export trade and strengthen the ESCAS. The Bills lapse at the dissolution of Parliament in August 2013.

Senator Rhiannon re-introduces the Bill in 2015. The Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquires into the Bill and concludes that a statutory authority should not be established, as its proposed substantive functions ‘are already achieved through existing mechanisms’. The Greens issue a dissenting report. The Bill is not debated and lapses at the dissolution of Parliament in May 2016.

Parliament of Australia, ‘Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill 2013 homepage’

Parliament of Australia, ‘Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill 2013 [No. 2] homepage’

Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill 2015, The Senate, Canberra, 15 October 2015

31 May 2013 Review recommends changes to ASEL and Livestock Export Standards Advisory Group

A DAFF Steering Committee recommends that the ASEL be replaced by new draft standards. The proposed standards include new

DAFF, Review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock; Review of the Livestock Export Standards Advisory

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requirements for extended long haul voyages and set out the roles, responsibilities and competencies of each operator in the supply chain.

The Committee also recommends new terms of reference for a standards advisory group to replace the LESAG. However, the Government does not implement the recommendations, and the ASEL remain in place.

Group, Final report, 31 May 2013

DAFF, Draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards for the Export of Livestock, version 1.0, (Appendix 1 to Final report)

31 July 2013 ALP plans Independent Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports

The Rudd Government announces plans to establish an independent statutory position of Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports, responsible for auditing and reviewing live export regulation across the supply chain. The proposal is criticised by both animal welfare advocates and industry representatives, and is scrapped following the election of the Coalition Government in September 2013.

J Fitzgibbon (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), New Independent Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports, media release, 31 July 2013

B Thompson, ‘Cool response to export overseer’, The West Australian, 1 August 2013, p. 6

E Hall, ‘Minister scraps plan for Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports’, transcript, ABC Radio National, 31 October 2013

July to October 2013 Indonesia increases live cattle imports In July, following discussions between Prime

Minister Kevin Rudd and the Indonesian President Susilo Bang Bang Yudiyono, Indonesia announces it will take an additional 25,000 cattle in the next three months.

In October, following a visit by newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Indonesia agrees to accept a further 53,000 cattle for the December quarter. Mr Abbott apologises to Indonesia for the 2011 live export ban, stating that ‘we’re not going to play games with our customers. We’re not going to play games with the food security of other countries’.

S Bevan, ‘Australia to recommence live cattle exports immediately’, transcript, ABC Radio National, 19 July 2013

T Palmer, ‘Indonesia agrees to lift cattle imports’, transcript, ABC Canberra 666, 2 October 2013

N Perry, ‘PM firm on sheep exports’, The Northern Territory News,

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1 November 2013, p. 14

9 October 2013 Western Australia signs MOU with China

The Western Australian Government enters into an MOU with China which sets up a commitment for both countries to cooperate on developing a live cattle trade for slaughter for the first time. China has imported dairy cows from Australia since 2001.

A Grigg and L Murray, ‘Trailblazer WA deal on live cattle exports’, The Australian Financial Review, 9 October 2013, p. 4

P Hemphill, ‘China’s appetite for dairy heifers continues’, The Weekly Times, (online edition), 1 April 2016

October 2013 Supply chain breaches in Jordan

The DOA investigates allegations of supply chain leakage in Jordan, finding that 2,718 sheep were moved outside the approved Jordan supply chain. The Government affirms its support for the industry in spite of the incident.

T Eastley, ‘Abbott Govt unlikely to place restrictions on live animal exports’, transcript, ABC Canberra 666, 31 October 2013

DOA, Sheep exported to Jordan, Compliance investigation report, 20, May 2014

8 November 2013 Abolition of Animals Welfare Advisory Committee

As part of its election commitment to reduce regulatory ‘red tape’ and streamline government, the Coalition abolishes the Australian Animals Welfare Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from industry and animal welfare groups and responsible for developing the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce also rejects industry calls for self-regulation of animal welfare standards.

A Vidot, ‘Federal Government scraps welfare advisory group’, ABC Rural, 8 November 2013

L Wilson, ‘Joyce rejects live-trade overhaul’, The Weekend Australian, 9 November 2013, p. 6

November to December 2013 Allegations of cruelty in Mauritius and Gaza Footage of Australian bulls being abused prior to

slaughter in Mauritius, and of brutal methods of cattle slaughter in Gaza, prompt Departmental investigations. The DOA stops issuing export permits to Gaza and subsequently suspends use

N Butterly, ‘Video forces inquiry into WA exporter’, The West Australian, 8 November 2013, p. 4

L Wilson, ‘New footage

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of the Gaza municipal abattoir for Australian animals. of live export cattle slaughter “harrowing to

watch”’, The Australian, 12 December 2013, p. 4

January to February 2014 Sheep deaths at sea 4,000 sheep are reported to have died of heat

stress on the Bader 3, travelling from Adelaide and Fremantle to the Middle East. Animals Australia and Labor MP Kelvin Thompson call for the licence of the exporter, Livestock Shipping Services (LSS), to be suspended.

There are further deaths of sheep and cattle on board the Ocean Drover travelling from Fremantle to Israel in February 2014.

B Thompson, ‘Deaths spark export review’, The West Australian, 25 February 2014, p. 3

R Willingham, ‘Calls to suspend exporter’s licence over sheep deaths’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 January 2014, p. 3

1 March 2014 Removal of MOU requirements

The Federal Government abolishes requirements for an MOU with any new live export markets which stipulates that animals are to be unloaded on arrival regardless of their health status. The change is flagged to enable the resumption of live sheep exports to Iran.

B Thompson, ‘Rule change tipped to trigger export surge’, The West Australian, 1 March 2014, p. 7

March to May 2014 Reopening of markets The Australian Livestock Exporters Council

(ALEC) lifts its 18-month ban on live exports to Bahrain after the Australian and Bahraini Governments reach an agreement on health protocols for sheep. Australia also resumes its live sheep and cattle trade to Egypt after Egyptian importers agree to the ESCAS.

In May live exports resume to Iran, following the government reaching agreement with Tehran regarding an animal health certification system.

Barnaby Joyce announces that sheep prices in WA have risen by 63% following the reopening of markets, and that there has been a 129% increase in live cattle exports since September 2013.

A Norris, ‘Bahrain sheep trade now set to resume’, The Land, 6 March 2014, p. 20

C Gribbin, ‘Live animal exports to Egypt resume’, transcript, ABC Canberra 666, 20 March 2014

J Owens, ‘Tehran deal clears live exports to Iran’, The Australian, 29 May 2014, p. 4

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Sheep prices up 63 per cent as new markets open, media release, 5 June 2014

B Joyce (Minister for

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Agriculture), Beef exports recovering after six years of Labor neglect, media release, 6 June 2014

14 April 2014 Rogue trader allegations

The 7:30 program alleges that, during the 2012 Ocean Drover incident, the Australian exporter Wellard falsified the Certificate of Australian Origin required to get permission to land sheep in Pakistan, and falsified figures to cover up 600 missing livestock.

In 2016, the former manager of Wellard is charged with dishonestly influencing a public official and using a false document to obtain a gain. In May 2018, the District Court of WA imposes an 18-month suspended sentence.

M Peacock, ‘Rogue trader claims put live export industry at risk’, ABC1, 14 April 2014

J Owens, ‘Authorities pursue “falsified” animal health papers’, The Australian, 23 April 2014, p. 5

N Butterly, ‘Ex-sheep ship boss charged’, The West Australian, 22 October 2016

E Farcic, ‘Live export manager spared jail over fraud’, The West Australian, 23 May 2018

August to December 2014 Trade opens with Cambodia and Thailand A live cattle trade commences between the

Northern Territory and Cambodia in August, following agreement between Australian and Cambodian government veterinary authorities on animal health certification requirements. It is estimated that 10,000 head of cattle will be initially traded.

In December, Barnaby Joyce announces the opening of a new market in Thailand for live feeder and slaughter cattle, estimating that 30,000 head will be traded in the first year of exports.

‘Cambodia newest destination for Territory’s cattle’, The Northern Territory News, 27 August 2014, p. 21

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Thailand the latest market to open for livestock exports, media release, 10 December 2014

September 2014

Changes to the ESCAS announced

The Government announces changes to the ESCAS as part of its election promise to cut administrative costs for businesses:

• exporters to ESCAS-approved markets which regularly import Australian animals do not

L Barbour, ‘Animal welfare groups see red as Government cuts tape for live animal exporters’, transcript, ABC Canberra 666,

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have to reapply for assurance for each shipment of animals

• audit requirements will be risk-based, and therefore less frequent for compliant exporters.

The changes come into effect on 1 April 2015.

11 September 2014

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Coalition streamlines livestock export regulations, media release, 11 September 2014

DOA, Revised risk-based auditing requirements for ESCAS, Export Advisory Notice, 2015-06, 23 March 2015

22 October 2014 Footage of slaughter outside supply chain

The ABC broadcasts footage of Australian sheep and cattle being slaughtered outside the approved abattoirs in Kuwait, Gaza and Jordan. Wellard ceases its Jordan trade.

J Stewart, ‘Anti cruelty rules disregarded’, ABC1, 22 October 2014

B Thompson, ‘Wellard calls halt to Jordan supply’, The West Australian, 6 November 2014, p. 66

28 October 2014 Class action launched against Federal Government

Law firm Minter Ellison lodges a class action against the Commonwealth on behalf of cattle exporters affected by the 2011 live export ban, claiming that the export control order restricting exports to Indonesia was invalid. The lead plaintiff is the Northern Territory’s Brett Cattle Company Pty Ltd, and the action is financially supported by the Australian Farmers Fighting Fund.

The case was heard in December 2018. The Federal Court’s decision remains pending as at September 2019.

S Balogh, ‘Cattlemen muster for class action on ban’, The Australian, 28 October 2014, p. 1

C Dunlop, ‘$1b beef seeks court date’, The Northern Territory News, 18 November 2015, p. 21

‘Brett Cattle Company Pty Ltd v Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry & Anor’, Commonwealth Courts Portal

December 2014 Resumption of trade to Lebanon

Following an agreement on animal health certification requirements, Australia reopens its live trade with Lebanon for the first time since

N Butterly, ‘Live exports to Lebanon to resume’, The West Australian,

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2003. 18 December 2014,

p. 24

21 January 2015 ESCAS review

A DOA review of ESCAS describes the system as an ‘administratively burdensome regulatory arrangement for both government and industry’ but finds that it has been effective in improving animal welfare outcomes. The review recommends:

• clearer guidelines for describing and managing non-compliance

• allowing shared facilities and supply chains to share audits to reduce duplication and

• encouraging industry to take greater responsibility for managing risks within supply chains.

DOA, Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, report, DOA, Canberra, January 2015

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), ESCAS review demonstrates success, recommends improvements, media release, 21 January 2015

April to May 2015 New standards for Vietnam trade

Vietnamese importers agree upon six new welfare standards, including the mandatory installation of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) in abattoirs and feedlots.

In May, Animals Australia provides DOA with footage of cattle killed with sledgehammers in Vietnamese abattoirs. The Department states that exporters had reported regulatory breaches in March.

M Brann, ‘CCTV cameras to be installed in all Vietnamese abattoirs and feedlots handling Australian cattle’, ABC Rural website, 17 April 2015

N Butterly and R Hale, ‘Animal cruelty claims in Vietnam cattle trade’, The West Australian, 20 May 2015, p. 4

June 2015 Allegations of cruelty in Israeli abattoir

Animals Australia releases footage taken by hidden cameras inside the Dabbah abattoir in Deir Al Asad, Israel. The footage depicts Australian cattle having their tails deliberately crushed and throats sawn. Animals Australia argues that CCTV cameras installed in the abattoir are not effective deterrents.

A Tillett, ‘Aussie cattle cruelty in Israel’, The West Australian, 9 June 2015, p. 16

July to September 2015 Fluctuating Indonesian import quotas Indonesia reduces Australian cattle imports

from 280,000 in the previous quarter to 50,000, pointing to an oversaturation of the Indonesian market and a continued drive for self-sufficiency

C Phillips, ‘Lean times ahead for Australian cattle as Indonesia turns to domestic farming’, The

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in beef production. The decision leaves 150,000 surplus cattle in northern Australia. However, in August, Indonesia issues permits for an additional 50,000 head of cattle for the third quarter, and in September increases import permits to 200,000 for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Conversation, 16 July 2015

J Kelly, P Alford and S Fitzpatrick, ‘Jakarta raises export beef hopes’, The Australian, 11 August 2015, p. 1

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Minister Joyce welcomes increase in Indonesian cattle quota, media release, 30 September 2015

21 July 2015 Opening of trade with China

Australia signs a feeder and slaughter cattle health protocol to allow a live trade of slaughter cattle to commence with China. This is ratified by China on 13 August, and a shipment of 170 steers is sent to China on a cargo plane from Melbourne in October.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which takes effect in December 2015, includes agreement to eliminate all tariffs on live animal exports within four years, including an existing ten percent tariff on live cattle.

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Joyce welcomes ratification of historic China live export deal, media release, 13 August 2015

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), ‘Health protocol signed to enable the export of Australian slaughter cattle to China’, MLA website, 30 July 2015

C Bettles, ‘First live-ex cattle bound for China’, The Land, 22 October 2015, p. 7

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Agriculture and processed food, fact sheet, DFAT, August 2018.

9 September 2015 Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020

The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper includes $30.8 million of extra funding to place

Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC), Meat Industry Strategic Plan

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agricultural counsellors in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and China and the Middle East. The counsellors work to develop and maintain overseas export markets.

— MISP 2020, September 2015

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Coalition Government expands overseas counsellor network, media release, 20 September 2015

DOA, ‘Trade and market access: our agriculture counsellors’, DOA website

13 October 2015 Supply chain leakages

The 7:30 program airs footage of Australian sheep sold outside approved abattoirs in Oman, Kuwait and the UAE. Wellard CEO Mauro Balzarini calls for action against those who don’t comply with the export regulations, arguing that insufficient enforcement creates an ‘unfair competitive environment’ and puts the industry at risk.

M Peacock, ‘Live exporter joins animal rights activists in push for Middle East slaughtering procedure enforcement’, transcript, 7:30, 13 October 2015

6 November 2015 New regulatory arrangements for exporters

The Government announces reforms to the livestock export certification process, which it predicts will save industry $1.2 million. Under the new, streamlined verification process an exporter’s system must be approved once by DOA as an ‘approved arrangement’, and subsequently monitored by audits and verification checks, rather than each consignment requiring approval.

The new arrangements will be compulsory from 1 January 2017.

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Improved on-shore arrangements for Australian live exporters, media release, 6 November 2015

PM&C, Office of Best Practice Regulation ‘Best practice regulation updates: approved arrangements for livestock exports’, PM&C website, 21 January 2016

January 2016 Ship stranded near Fremantle

The MV Ocean Outback, chartered by Otway

M Colvin, ‘Concerns for welfare of 13,000 sheep and cattle

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Livestock Exports, is stranded off the coast of Fremantle for ten days due to engine problems. 7,500 sheep and 5,500 cattle are on board the vessel, which is due to travel to Israel. 30 sheep and three cattle die on board.

The sheep are subsequently offloaded and transported to a pre-export quarantine feedlot. The cattle are cleared to be shipped to Southeast Asia.

stranded near Fremantle’, transcript, ABC Canberra 666, 5 January 2016

‘Ship leaves after death of animals’, The Courier Mail, 11 January 2016, p. 10

January to April 2016 Indonesian tax on cattle shipments The Indonesian Government imposes an

unexpected 10 per cent value-added tax on cattle imports, with breeder stock to be exempt. The tax is criticised by Australian exporters, and is subsequently scrapped by the Indonesian Government due to what chief economics minister, Darmin Nasution, describes as a ‘tremendous impact on strategic food [stocks]’.

In April the Indonesian Business Competition Supervisory Commission fines 32 Indonesian importers a total of AUD$10.5 million for price fixing by withholding cattle from slaughter and thus causing a scarcity of beef in the market.

C Dunlop, ‘Anger at new tax on cattle’, Sunday Territorian, 17 January 2016, p. 7

M Brann, ‘Indonesian Government scraps controversial cattle tax’, ABC Rural website, 25 January 2016

J Topsfield and K Rompies, ‘Elders arm branded in cattle sting’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 2016, p. 23

February to May 2016 AMIEU calls for cap on live exports The AMIEU claims that the live trade is

exacerbating a shortage of livestock in Queensland caused by the drought, resulting in the shutdown of abattoirs and loss of meat processing jobs. It calls for a cap on live cattle exports.

In May, the Newcastle and Northern Branch of the AMIEU criticises the Minister for Agriculture and local MP, Barnaby Joyce, for plans to further expand the live trade, arguing that this is at the expense of the local processing sector.

S Neales, ‘Drought-driven cattle shortage hits abattoir jobs’, The Australian, 24 February 2016, p. 6

C McKillop, L Webster and C Zonca, ‘Live export tensions reignited amid ongoing uncertainty for Townsville meatworkers’, ABC Rural website, 23 February 2016

AMIEU Newcastle and Northern Branch, Joyce live export support threatens local jobs, media release,

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26 May 2016

May 2016 Committee considers trade with Saudi Arabia

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade examines live animal exports as part of a larger inquiry into Australia- Middle East trade relations, with a delegation visiting the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

The Committee particularly notes that Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty concerns about the ESCAS have prevented Australian live exports to the country since August 2012. It recommends that the Australian and Saudi Arabian Governments explore whether the appointment of an independent auditor to monitor implementation of the ESCAS would meet these concerns.

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Inquiry into Australia’s trade and investment relationships with countries of the Middle East, May 2016 (Chapter 5)

S Locke and B Varischetti, ‘Parliamentary committee recommends pursuing restart of live sheep to Saudi Arabia’, ABC Rural website, 5 May 2016

June 2016 Japan suspends Australian cattle imports

Japan suspends the import of feeder and breeder cattle from Australia after breeding heifers arriving in the country test positive for Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD). DAWR commences an investigation and subsequently cancels the export licence of Frontier International Agri, finding that the consignment was not prepared in accordance with regulatory requirements.

DAWR, Temporary suspension of live cattle exports to Japan, media release, 3 June 2016

N Beilharz and B Worthington, ‘Japanese ban on live Australian cattle imports to last weeks as officials await further tests on infected cows’, ABC Rural website, 10 June 2016

DAWR, Temporary suspension of live exports to Japan— update, 15 July 2016, media release, 15 July 2016

June 2016 Footage of cruelty in Vietnam

The ABC airs footage obtained by Animals Australia showing cattle being beaten with

J Thomas, L Robinson and R Armitage, ‘”Australian cattle” being bludgeoned to

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sledgehammers in Vietnamese abattoirs. Animals Australia investigators report that large numbers of Australian cattle have been leaving approved supply chains. The industry suspends exports to three abattoirs, and announces additional measures including a three-month independent inquiry into the systems and standards in place to support ESCAS requirements in Vietnam.

In response to the footage, the ALP calls for the establishment of an independent office of animal welfare. The Coalition disputes that an independent regulator is necessary, arguing that the existing regulatory framework is robust.

As part of its ongoing investigation, DAWR suspends 21 facilities in Vietnam and directs two exporters to cease supply to the Vietnam market until effective measures are in place to address animal control, traceability and verification processes.

death in Vietnam sparks Government investigation’, ABC News, 16 June 2016

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Statement on mistreatment of cattle in Vietnam, media release, 16 June 2016

ALEC, Exporters will take additional measures to address issues in Vietnam supply chain control, media release, 17 June 2016

P Karp, ‘Labor calls for independent animal welfare agency after live cattle bludgeon’, The Guardian, (online edition), 17 June 2016

DAWR, Allegations of animal cruelty in Vietnam—update, 15 July 2016, media release, 15 July 2016

August 2016 Recommencement of trade to Japan

DAWR announces the re-opening of Australia’s live cattle trade to Japan, following an agreement on improved certification processes for cattle consignments.

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Market access for live cattle reopened in Japan, media release, 26 August 2016

October to November 2016 Private Member’s Bill—electronic tagging Independent MP Andrew Wilkie releases

footage, obtained by Animals Australia, showing cruelty to Australian sheep and goats in Malaysia and the Middle East. Mr Wilkie subsequently introduces the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Amendment) (Tagging

A Wilkie, Barbaric animal cruelty continues in Malaysia and Middle East, media release, 18 October 2016

Parliament of Australia,

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Live-stock) Bill 2016, aimed at requiring the electronic tagging of all livestock exported from Australia, to enable tracking throughout the supply chain. The Bill did not proceed.

‘Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Amendment) (Tagging Live-stock) Bill 2016 homepage’

February 2017 First cattle shipment sent to China

The first sea shipment of live cattle is sent to China from Portland, Victoria.

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), First Australian beef cattle sea shipment arrives in China, media release, 21 February 2017

February 2017 Indonesia relaxes import rules

Indonesia announces it will issue year-long import permits (instead of four-month permits) and increase weight and age limits for cattle exported from Australia. The Australian Government states that the changes will bring greater stability to the trade and allow farmers to produce a greater range of cattle for the Indonesian market.

L Martin, ‘Boost for Territory live cattle trade with year-long permits’, Sunday Territorian, 26 February 2017

B Joyce (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), S Ciobo (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) and L Hartsuyker, Indonesian live export market moves from strength to strength, media release, 25 February 2017

May 2017 Livestock Global Assurance Program

The 2017-18 Budget commits $8.3 million to support ALEC to implement the proposed Livestock Exports Global Assurance Program, an industry-led assessment and certification program to assist exporters to demonstrate compliance with the ESCAS.

Australian Government ‘Part 2: Expense measures’, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2017-18, p. 62.

Livestock Global Assurance Program website (via Wayback Machine)

August 2017 Investigation into sheep deaths in 2016 voyage

A report obtained under FOI reveals that 3,000 sheep died due to heat stress on a single voyage

C Wahlquist, ‘WA seeks powers to prosecute live exporters after 3,000 sheep die on

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from Fremantle to the Middle East in July 2016.

The WA Government states that it is seeking legal advice on whether it can prosecute incidents occurring on live export ships.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) commences a review of Maritime Order 43, which regulates the certification of ships involved in livestock operations. It finds a number of defects on the ship which carried the sheep.

ship’, The Guardian (Australia), 10 August 2017

N Butterly, ‘Sheep ship involved in horror voyage banned’, West Australian, 31 October 2017

Marine Orders - Part 43: Cargo and Cargo Handling (Cth)

February 2018 WA Government investigation

The WA Government commences an investigation under the state’s Animal Welfare Act into a voyage by Emanuel Exports in August 2017, in which 3.76% of the shipment of 63,000 sheep died.

A MacTiernan (Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food), Investigation into high mortality live export shipment, media release, 16 February 2018

N Butterly, ‘WA to probe sheep ship’, West Australian, 5 March 2018

March 2018 Reports of reopening of Saudi Arabian trade

It is reported that the sheep export trade to Saudi Arabia is set to resume by mid-2018, following negotiations between the two governments. The RSPCA expresses concern that this may involve the watering down of ESCAS Regulations for shipments to Saudi Arabia.

J Brammer, ‘Saudi sheep trade to resume’, West Australian, 21 March 2018.

RSPCA, No assurance for welfare or disease control for Saudi market, media release, 22 March 2018

April 2018 Footage of sheep deaths released

Sixty Minutes airs footage obtained by Animals Australia of conditions on board an Emanuel Exports vessel in August 2017.

Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, states that a mortality report he received from DAWR regarding the incident ‘did not accurately reflect the conditions seen in the vision on the ship’. He

‘Live sheep exports’, Sixty Minutes, 8 April 2018.

D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Live exports, media release, 9 April 2018.

D Littleproud (Minister

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announces a number of measures in response:

• a review into the investigative capability, powers and culture of DAWR as the independent regulator

• a plan to increase penalties for breaches

• a whistleblower hotline and

• a review of standards for the sheep trade during the Middle Eastern summer.

for Agriculture and Water Resources), Encouraging live export whistleblowers, media release, 13 April 2018

‘Review into our regulatory capability and culture’, DOA website

‘Heat stress risk assessment for the export of sheep to the Middle East’, DOA website, last reviewed 14 June 2019

April 2018 Renewed calls for independent office

The ALP and Greens renew calls for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare. ALEC announces the industry will support the measure, stating that the role of Inspector General ‘would help oversee independence and cultural change in our industry and work constructively with exporters to improve animal welfare outcomes’.

ALEC, Exporters endorse immediate changes to on-board protocols, media release, 18 April 2018

J Fitzgibbon, Labor welcomes live export sector's plan to adopt independent inspector general of animal welfare and live animal exports, media release, 18 April 2018

A Bandt, Greens announce support for Sussan Ley's Private Member's Bill to end live sheep exports, media release, 19 April 2018

April 2018 Greens release plan for chilled meat export

The Greens launch a ‘5 Point Plan’ to transition the live sheep export trade to a locally-processed chilled meat trade, and announce this is supported by the AMIEU.

R Di Natale, Greens' plan to transition live sheep export industry to local processing backed by meat workers union, media release, 22 April 2018

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May 2018 ALP commits to phasing out live sheep trade

Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, announces that, if elected, a Labor Government would develop a transition plan to end live sheep export, noting that this could ‘take a number of years’.

J Fitzgibbon, Interview with ABC NSW Country Hour: Transitioning the live export sheep trade, transcript, 3 May 2018

May 2018 McCarthy Review report

The Government releases the report of the independent review of sheep exports to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer. Key recommendations include reductions of stocking densities and movement from a heat stress risk assessment based on mortality to assessment based on animal welfare.

In its response, the Government re-states its intention to continue the live sheep trade to the Middle East, and accepts most of the recommendations. However, it states that a revised heat stress risk assessment model will not be implemented until further public and expert consultation is undertaken.

ALEC and the National Farmers’ Federation announce support for the Review’s findings. However, the Australian Veterinary Association criticises the Government’s response as not adequately guaranteeing stronger animal welfare provisions on live sheep voyages to the Middle East.

M McCarthy, Independent review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer, Report to the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, 11 May 2018

DAWR, Regulator’s response to the McCarthy Review, May 2018

ALEC, Exporters welcome McCarthy findings, media release, 17 May 2018

National Farmers’ Federation, McCarthy Review charts new path forward for live sheep exports, media release, 17 May 2018

Australian Veterinary Association, Vets say Minister’s response to McCarthy Review fails to deliver on important health and welfare outcomes, media release, 17 May 2018

May 2018 Private member’s Bill

Liberal MP Sussan Ley introduces a private member’s Bill to phase out live sheep exports by ship to the Middle East, where the voyage will

Parliament of Australia, ‘Live Sheep Long Haul Export Prohibition Bill 2018 homepage’

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last ten days or more. The Bill proposes a transition period of five years during which live sheep cannot be exported to the Middle East between July and September. After the transition period ends, the Bill will prohibit live sheep exports at any time of year. The Bill lapses at the dissolution of Parliament in April 2019.

May 2018 Government Bill to increase exporter penalties

The Export Legislation Amendment (Live-stock) Bill 2018 is introduced into the House of Representatives, and proposes increasing criminal penalties and introducing new aggravated criminal offences and civil penalties for live-export related offences. The Bill lapses at the dissolution of Parliament in April 2019.

Parliament of Australia, ‘Export Legislation Amendment (Live-stock) Bill 2018 homepage’

June to July 2018 Changes to sheep export requirements

The Department makes a number of changes to the requirements for live sheep export, including a reduction in the reportable mortality level. Exporters transporting sheep by sea to the Middle East between May and October are required to comply with additional conditions, including having in place a heat stress management plan for each voyage.

New standards are also introduced for vessels carrying livestock, giving effect to some of the McCarthy Review’s recommendations.

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Order 2018

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Standards) Amendment (Reportable Sheep Mortality Level) Order 2018

Marine Order 43 (Cargo and cargo handling — livestock) 2018

August to September 2018 Cancellation of export licences DAWR cancels the livestock export licences of

Emanuel Exports and a wholly-owned subsidiary, EMS Rural Exports. The Department states the action is ‘in the best interests of the industry and for the protection of Australia’s high standards of animal welfare and health’.

DAWR, Live export licence cancelled, media release, 21 August 2018

DAWR, Second live export licence cancelled, media release, 5 September 2018

N Butterly, ‘Live export licence cancelled’, The West Australian,

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6 September 2018, p. 12

September 2018 Private senators Bill passes Senate

The Senate passes a private senators Bill co-sponsored by Senators Lee Rhiannon, Derryn Hinch and Tim Storer, aimed at restricting the long-haul export of live sheep to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer. The Bill is not debated in the House, and lapses at the dissolution of Parliament in April 2019.

Parliament of Australia, ‘Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long-haul Live Sheep Exports) Bill 2018 homepage’

P Karp, ‘Live exports ban: Labor fails in attempt to debate bill in lower house’, The Guardian (Australia), 10 September 2018

October 2018 Moss Report released

Philip Moss releases the report of his independent review into the regulatory capability and culture of DAWR. The report finds that the Department’s focus on trade facilitation and industry self-regulation ‘appears to have had a negative impact [on] the department’s culture as a regulator’. It notes the Department’s regulatory capability is dispersed across a number of groups, divisions and branches, and that ‘the characteristics necessary for effective regulation including skills, resources and technology are lacking to the required extent’.

The report makes 31 recommendations, including the creation of an independent external entity to oversee the Department’s regulatory functions and re-establishment of an Animal Welfare Branch within the Department. The Department supported, or supported in principle, each of the recommendations.

P Moss, Review of the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Regulation of Live Animal Exports, 27 September 2018

DAWR, ‘Regulator’s response to the Moss Review’, [2018]

D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), ‘Government response to the Moss Review’, October 2018

November 2018 Independent Observer reports

DAWR announces that it will publicly release summary reports from independent observers on live export vessels, as a way of promoting transparency in the industry. Reports are published on the Department’s website.

D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Live exports: first Independent Observer report released, media release, 26 November 2018

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DOA, ‘Independent observations of livestock export voyages by sea’, DOA website.

December 2018 Northern summer moratorium on sheep exports

ALEC announces an intention to observe, from 1 June 2019, a three-month moratorium on sheep shipments to the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere summer. This is intended to occur while the industry develops new technology to address heat risk challenges associated with shipments during summer months.

There is a mixed response to the announcement. Minister Littleproud states the industry should have acted on the issue earlier. Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, describes the measure as ‘too little, too late’. The RSPCA, while welcoming the commitment, suggests the high-risk period should cover May to October.

ALEC, Sheep moratorium part of industry re-set, media release, 4 December 2018

J Brammer, ‘Summer ban on sheep exports’, The West Australian, 5 December 2018, p. 3.

M Faruqi, Proposed voluntary live export suspension in northern summer too little, too late, media release, 4 December 2018

January 2019 Investigation into live export footage announced

Minister Littleproud announces that DAWR is investigating allegations that animal activists had offered payments to live export workers ‘to fabricate inhumane changed conditions on the voyages’.

D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Live export footage investigation, media release, 21 January 2019

S Markson and A Hennessy, ‘Crew paid to leak live export videos [fake ewes]’, The West Australian, 17 January 2019

March 2019 Interim Inspector-General commences

An Interim Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports, Ross Carter, takes office. The appointment is for twelve months ‘pending completion of legislation to establish the statutory appointment’.

D Littleproud (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), Independent Inspector-General takes office to oversee live animal exports regulation, media release,

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19 March 2019

March 2019 Release of ASEL review

A technical advisory committee releases a report of its review into the ASEL, which it commenced in July 2017. The report recommends a number of changes to the standards, which have not been updated since 2011, to help improve animal welfare outcomes. This includes that a Heat Stress Risk Assessment be applied to all voyages that cross the equator, and increased animal welfare reporting.

The Department accepts all 49 recommendations either in full or in principle. The RSPCA, while welcoming the report, claims that the proposed standards ‘fail to reflect the scientific evidence on stocking density and its relationship to good animal welfare’.

DAWR Technical Advisory Committee, Review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock: sea transport—final report, March 2019

DAWR, Regulator’s response to the final report on the review of the ASEL: sea transport, 2019

RSPCA, Final ASEL report falls short on animal welfare, media release, 21 March 2019

April 2019 Live sheep exports ban for northern summer 2019

The Government bans the export of live sheep to the Middle East, by any vessel leaving an Australian port between 1 June 2019 and 31 August 2019. This provides a legislative basis to the voluntary moratorium already announced by the export industry.

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Prohibition of Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East—Northern Summer) Order 2019 (Cth)

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export of Sheep by Sea to Middle East) Amendment (Northern Summer) Order 2019 (Cth)

April 2019 Regulatory issues for export of non-slaughter animals

The ABC reports that an estimated 500 Australian and New Zealand dairy cattle died after being shipped to Sri Lanka as part of a scheme aimed at improving the supply of fresh milk in Sri Lanka.

In response, the RSPCA argues the incident highlights a ‘gaping loophole’ in the ESCAS regarding breeding and dairy animals. The ALP

L Knowles and S Heanue, ‘Australian cattle exported to Sri Lanka dying and malnourished, local farmers left suicidal’, ABC News website, 5 April 2019

J Fitzgibbon, Dairy cow deaths and suffering in Sri Lanka, media

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makes an election commitment to address the ‘gap in the regulatory regime which offers no assurances on animal welfare for the export of non-slaughter animals’.

release, 4 April 2019

A Smith, ‘ESCAS review call after heifer incident’, Farm Weekly, 11 April 2019

Note: all hyperlinks were accessed as at September 2019

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Appendix Live sheep and cattle exports, 1988 to 2018

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Livestock products, Australia, December 2018, cat. no. 7215.0, ABS, Canberra, 2019.

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