All 23 recommendations from the McCarthy Review into the Middle East summer Livestock trade will be accepted by the Federal Government according to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.
The Minister says the review will bring wide changes which he describes as a “seismic shift” away from mortality rates as a measure of animal welfare with the focus now to be on heat stress.
Mr Littleproud says all 23 recommendations from the inquiry undertaken by industry veterinarian Dr Michael McCarthy will be introduced by July 1 before this year’s summer trade kicks off.
• Heat stress will replace mortality rates as the key measure of animal welfare.
• The reportable mortality level will be halved, from two to one per cent.
• An allometric stocking density system will be introduced, providing for around 39pc more space for sheep on the voyage, and reducing stocking density by about 28pc.
• A requirement for an independent observer on every voyage carrying either sheep or cattle – not just the sheep voyages during the northern summer – reporting daily to the Independent Regulator.
Mt Littleproud will introduce a Bill for new laws creating a new offence of profiting from poor animal welfare outcomes which will carry hefty penalties for breaches.
These include penalties for a director of a company who breaks the new laws face 10 years prison or $2.1 million fine, an individual convicted under the same offence would face 10 years and $420,000 fine.
For a company, the fine will be $4.2 million, three times the benefit gained, or 10 % of the company’s annual turnover, whichever is greater.
Under the current Australian Meat and Livestock Act, penalties will increase from the current five years prison and/or a $63,000 fine for an individual to 8 years prison and/or $100,800 fine.
For a company the fine will be increased from $315,000 to $504,000.