Regulators to keep a close eye on live export sheep, with ‘independent’ observers on board

Updated May 17, 2018 12:02:44

A Federal Government-ordered review into live sheep exports has recommended a major reduction in animals on ships bound for the Middle East during the dangerous hot months in the middle of the year.

Key points: Major recommendation from review is to increase space for sheep and reduce number of animals on ships during hot months Independent regulator will also investigate ships with mortality rate of 1 per cent of sheep or more Government also toughening penalties for companies that breach these rules

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud initiated the review after footage emerged showing almost 2,500 sheep dying from heat stress during a trip to the Middle East last year.

Amid other reviews into live sheep exports, Mr Littleproud asked livestock veterinarian Michael McCarthy to review the standards for the sheep trade during the Middle Eastern summer.

Mr Littleproud said one of Dr McCarthy’s major recommendations would be a “seismic shift” in the stocking density model that would reduce the number of animals allowed on board in hotter months and therefore increase space for sheep by up to 39 per cent.

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