New chairman appointed to lead Australian live export standards review

Sheep Central, July 2, 2018

EXPERIENCED agricultural industry bureaucrat Steve McCutcheon has been appointed to lead the review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.

Mr McCutcheon replaces former senator Chris Back who stood down as chair of the independent ASEL Technical Advisory Committee earlier this year.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said Mr McCutcheon brought more than 30 years’ experience in agriculture and food policy to the role.

“The comprehensive review of the ASEL will ensure changes to the standards are informed by the best evidence.

“The review began in January. I decided not long after becoming Minister to bring the review’s deadline forward from the end of 2019 to the end of this year,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Mr McCutcheon is chair of Plant Health Australia and was chief executive officer of Food Standards Australia New Zealand from 2007 to 2017.

“Mr McCutcheon will lead the committee as it finalises the ASEL review, supported by the other members with expertise across animal health and welfare, regulation and the livestock industry,” Mr Littleproud said.

A statement from Mr Littleproud’s office said stage one of the ASEL review included public consultation to seek feedback on draft reformatted standards and to identify key issues for the review to address. The next stage will include the release of an issues paper and consultation to seek feedback from stakeholders. The ASEL Review is also required to make recommendations not inconsistent with the standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health, the statement said.

The statement said the is comprehensive review is in addition to the short, sharp review by Dr Michael McCarthy of the sheep trade during the northern summer. For more information on the ASEL review, visit


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