The ALP and the Animal Liberation mob will end this decades long successful live cattle export industry one way or another

The Federal Government has announced a new, independent Inspector-General to oversee the live export industry and Australia’s welfare assurance system.

The Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports will be an independent, statutory authority, and will report directly to the Minister for Agriculture.

Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says he would like to see an interim Inspector-General appointed as soon as possible, although legislation will eventually be required to cement the position.

The Minister says the new office will reassure the community that there’s an independent authority with the power to oversee the live export regulator, the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), and Australia’s live export welfare system, commonly called ESCAS (the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System).

Mr Fitzgibbon says the independent Inspector-General will sit within but at arm’s length from DAFF, and will report directly to the Minister of the day.

Like the Inspector-General for Biosecurity, the Minister says the new Inspector-General, “will be independent by statute, independently-minded, and will have the power to act of his own initiative”.

Mr Fitzgibbon says that he has full confidence in his department, but that there has been concern in the community about whether DAFF is the appropriate body to oversee the welfare standards within the live export industry, which it also regulates.

“We’ve got to build community confidence,” he said.

“We can’t continue to reap the benefits, economically, of this important export trade without bringing the community with us.

“If it means putting in an extra layer of independent oversight to build that community confidence, I think that’s a good investment.”

Luke Bowen from the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association says his organisation will reserve judgement on whether the industry needs an independent Inspector-General for the live export trade.

“If this (role) can achieve improved animal welfare outcomes and increased, improved and more efficient market access we’d have to support it, but it remains to be seen whether it can achieve that outcome,” he said.

“So if it doesn’t add any extra regulatory burden, doesn’t add any additional costs and supports the continued growth of what is a very proud and legitimate industry then we’d have to support it.” – ABC