Discussion paper

Middle East sheep exports policy options discussion paper

Exports Livestock Animal welfare Australia Middle East

This policy options discussion paper initiates a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) process to inform future regulation of live sheep exports to, or through the Middle East, from 2020 onwards. It will be open for public comment for 30 days.

The Department of Agriculture seeks feedback from interested stakeholders about the impact of possible policy options that are being considered for regulating sheep exports to, or through the Middle East. These options are provided to generate considered feedback which may include alternative ideas or options.

The department will use information received during public consultation to inform the development of a draft RIS. The RIS will outline the economic and regulatory benefits and impacts of each policy option identified through the consultation process. The draft RIS will be released for a second period of public consultation and all responses from stakeholders will be considered when making final policy recommendations to government.

The intended outcome of adopting one of these policy options, or a valid alternative, is to manage the risk of heat stress in live sheep exports and welfare outcomes on voyages while supporting a sustainable live sheep export trade.

Policy options presented in the discussion paper have been developed after considering information available to the department including the Independent Review of Conditions for The Export of Sheep to the Middle East During the Northern Hemisphere Summer (McCarthy Review), the final report of the Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) Review (HSRA Review), submissions from the McCarthy Review and HSRA Review, analysis of climatological data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology, voyage reports including analysis of May 2019 voyages, independent observer reports, environmental data and environmental observations aboard vessels that travelled to the Middle East during 2018 and 2019. The department also met with the Western Australian Live Export Reference Group to discuss the possible impact of changes to the regulation of the live sheep export industry.

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