Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports review of livestock export permit systems and processes

Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports review of livestock export permit systems and processes

25 November 2021

The Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports, Mr Ross Carter, published a review on livestock export permit systems and processes on 24 November 2021. The review made 7 recommendations to improve the department’s administration of notice of intention to export, export permits and health certificates.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s decision to issue an export permit and health certificate is where the rubber hits the road for the live animal exports regulatory system. While the department has made important progress in several areas of regulatory practice, this review found a range of concerns that should be addressed.

The inspector-general noted that the department has taken an incremental improvement approach to updating the core IT system used by both the department and exporters rather than the step change investment required to underpin the transformation to a modern, effective and efficient regulator.

The inspector-general was also concerned that the current approach to exporter performance management is outdated. The department needs to move more quickly to a proportionate response model. This is important in improving the ongoing performance of exporters aimed at preventing serious incidents and providing a sound foundation for more rapid and decisive regulatory action should such an incident occur in the future.

The review reiterates the need for the department to increase its focus on compliance monitoring during an exporter’s operational execution of livestock consignments through risk-targeted, integrated inspections and audits.

The inspector-general was requested to consider the approach to managing sheep rejection in Fremantle (the ‘Freemantle Model’). This review concluded that the current model represents a pragmatic approach, by both industry and the department, to balance strict compliance with practical livestock management aimed at achieving the best health and welfare outcome within the constraints of aged infrastructure. Mr Carter recommended that the department continue to use its discretion in relation to the Freemantle model provided relevant exporters and registered establishments agree to implement improvements to the infrastructure to ensure strict compliance can be achieved.

The inspector-general would like to thank those stakeholders who provided information to inform this review.

The review can be viewed on the IGLAE website.

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