​Media Release

Review of sheep exports to Middle East during northern summer

16 April 2018

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has announced the terms of reference for the short, sharp review into sheep exports to the Middle East during the northern summer.

Minister Littleproud said the review will consider information including scientific literature, outcomes of recent voyages and reports from observers.

"The footage I saw recently from voyages in 2017 shocked me. After meeting with the stakeholders last Monday, I announced this review on the Tuesday," Mr Littleproud said.

"The review will consider stocking density on ships, bedding and animal waste management, ventilation and heat stress risk.

"It will also consider and evaluate the potential use of air conditioners, and conditions placed on recent voyages, which includes the independent observer paid employed by the Department of Agriculture.

"The review will identify any improvements in how the current standards, known as the Australian Standards for Export of Livestock or ASEL, can be administered or executed.

"The review will also consider the number and skills of the crew in managing animal health and welfare, contingency planning and reporting. The TOR allows for Dr McCarthy to delve into other issues he considers worth exploring.

"Transparency builds trust. We need to let the light shine in. It's important we get this trade right for our farmers."

This short, sharp review will complement the review into the investigative capability, powers and culture of the independent regulator as well as the ASEL review (which was already running) as Minister Littleproud takes decisive action to address the issues raised in the past fortnight.

The review will be complete in time to make any recommended changes to the 2018 northern summer trade.

For a full copy for the Terms of Reference, go to www.agriculture.gov.au/livestock-northern-summer-review