Littleproud releases terms for live sheep regulator review

Sheep Central, April 19, 2018

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud

RESPECTED former public servant Philip Moss will undertake a review into the capabilities, investigative capacity and culture of Australia’s live animal exports regulator, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud announced the Mr Moss’ appointment and the review’s terms of reference today.

Until his retirement in July 2014, Mr Moss AM was employed as the Integrity Commissioner within the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity. He is experienced in law enforcement, and government investigations and reviews. He most recently completed a review into allegations of abuse of immigration detainees in Nauru.

Mr Moss was made a member in the general division of the Order of Australia for significant service to public administration, particularly in the areas of law enforcement integrity, anti-corruption and human rights.

Mr Littleproud called the review after disturbing footage of sheep dying and dead in overcrowded live export conditions was broadcast on the 60 Minutes television show.

“What we saw on film this past fortnight must never happen again.

“Those who do the wrong thing must be caught and nailed,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Australian public and the government must have trust in the integrity and regulation of the live export trade.

“The review will assess the powers available to the Department to make sure exporters obey the regulations,’ he said.

“It will also consider whether an Inspector-General of Livestock Exports would be useful and effective.

“I don’t care who thought of the idea; let’s see if it’s a good one,’ Mr Littleproud said.

“The review will also investigate the regulator’s ability to assess community expectations and its cultural capacity to respond, and its engagement with key stakeholders.

“Mr Moss has a wealth of experience in public administration in roles such as inaugural Integrity Commissioner and Head of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.”

The final review report is to be provided to the minister by August 24 2018. For a full copy for the Terms of Reference, go to


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  1. Patrick Francis, April 21, 2018

    The independent reviewer should also be investigating WA’s sheep processing capacity to find out if sheep now destined for live export can be processed on shore and exported as value-added cuts.
    In 2014, the CIE’s report “Contribution of live exports to the Australian Wool Industry” stated “…Kingwell et al (2011) made an assessment that there was sufficient capacity in the WA processing sector to process sheep diverted from (live) exports due to throughput levels lower than full capacity and the scope for expansion through the addition of shifts. The excess capacity was estimated to be between 1.7 and 1.8 million head per year. …Sapere (2013) conservatively used a total (WA) capacity of 5.9 million (sheep).”
    WA Dept of Ag and Food 2017 sheep statistics shows domestic slaughter at 4.1 million head and live exports at 1.6 million head.
    From this data and previous estimates of processing capacity, WA abattoirs could easily process the sheep currently being exported alive.
    As well as removing the opportunity for sub-standard sheep welfare by phasing out this trade, the value of the extra processed sheep as value-added cuts into exports markets would put more money into the state’s sheep farmers’ pockets and increase employment in regional towns where the abattoirs are situated.
    It’s a win-win for the sheep, the sheep farmers and regional communities.

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