Improved oversight to support animal welfare

Animal welfare in livestock exports will have more meaningful and targeted oversight thanks to the establishment of the Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports.

The legislation to establish the new Inspector-General was passed in Parliament today.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the legislation delivers on the Albanese Government’s commitment to strengthen animal welfare transparency and assurance.

“Taking proactive steps to prioritise animal welfare just makes sense – industry acknowledge it, the community knows it and our trading partners expect it,” Minister Watt said.

“By creating an Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports, we are demonstrating our commitment to improving standards, accountability and transparency in our regulation of the livestock export sector.

“An Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports will increase confidence in the oversight of animal welfare standards for exported livestock.

“This will ensure exported livestock are treated as humanely as possible, and our trading partners can be assured that the livestock they import meet our high animal welfare and regulatory standards.

“We will continue to take the Commonwealth’s animal welfare responsibilities seriously, while working constructively with our state and territory counterparts.”

“We made a promise to improve animal welfare oversight going into the 2022 election, and we have delivered on this promise.”

The Albanese Government committed $4 million over four years from 2022-23 to establish the Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports through the October Budget.

In addition, the Albanese Government is providing $5 million to develop a renewed Australian Animal Welfare Strategy - to deliver on the Government’s election commitment to update and enhance a national approach to animal welfare.

“Now that we’ve been able to lay down the groundwork, we can start the process of finding the right candidate for the position of Australia’s first Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports,” Minister Watt said.

“I’m looking forward to this next chapter in improving outcomes for exported Australian livestock.”