​Media Release

Live exports: first Independent Observer report released

26 November 2018

  • First summary report from an Independent Observe​r aboard a live export journey publicly released
  • Full transparency required to build trust in industry
  • Independent Observers now on all sheep boats and progressively onto cattle boats
The Coalition Government today delivered on its commitment to make public the summary reports from independent observers on live export boats.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said he was pleased the first report had been made public.

“Full transparency is the only way to build public trust in any industry,” Minister Littleproud said.

“That’s why I said we needed the ‘truth, and proof’ of what happens on live export boats.

“We need a tough cop on the beat and we need eyes and ears on those boats.

“This is the only way possible the industry will have a sustainable future and that’s what the Independent Observers should provide.

“I’ve made sure there’s Independent Observers on all sheep voyages.

“Today the Department of Agriculture released the first summary report of a voyage from an Independent Observer on board.

“These summary reports and accompanying photos will show the public what the Independent Observer sees on these boats.

“Independent Observers check the welfare and care of the animals, take photographs and notes to later collate into a report. They provide regular updates to the regulator on conditions on the boat, which should mean any issues are dealt with as they arise.

“The Australian public must have trust in the integrity and regulation of the live export trade. Reports from Independent Observers are a huge part of building this trust.”

Fast Facts:
  • Reports from Independent Observers will be published as they are finalised to ensure no delay in proper transparency. Reports will not be finalised in chronological order due to different clearance and journey timeframes.
  • Since the release of footage aboard the Awassi in April this year, the Australian Government has:
  • Ordered and received the McCarthy Review into the Middle Eastern Summer trade and accepted all recommendations
  • Ordered the Moss review into the Department of Agriculture's Capability, Culture and Investigative Powers—and accepted all 31 recommendations
  • Including an independent Inspector General of Animal Welfare to oversee the Department of Agriculture’s regulation of the trade
  • Delivered Independent Observers on all live sheep boats, 
  • Delivered increased space allocation for sheep being exported to the Middle Eastern 
  • Brought forward legislation to increase penalties for animal cruelty by live exporters