Technical Advisory Committee for the Review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL)

​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has appointed a Technical Advisory Committee to review the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).

During the review, the committee will work closely with a Reference Group of key stakeholders including the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, the RSPCA, livestock producer bodies and the Australian Veterinary Association. The committee will draw from the Reference Group’s expertise and seek their advice when considering public submissions and while drafting recommendations. The livestock export industry’s research and development body, LiveCorp, will support the review by providing current, relevant and reliable evidence and research findings  to stakeholders, the committee and the department.

The committee’s membership structure has been designed to ensure a breadth of skills and expertise relevant to the standards in order to facilitate equitable consideration of issues and sound advice to the department.

The committee

The committee operates under a terms of reference.

Dr Chris Back - Chair

Dr Chris Back retired as a Senator representing Western Australia in July 2017, having been sworn into the Australian Senate in March 2009. He was the first veterinarian elected to the Senate since Federation.

As a Senator, Dr Back was an active member of the Rural, Regional and Transport Committees of the Senate. He chaired the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee from 2013 to 2017 and the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee of the Senate from 2011 to 2013.

Dr Back graduated in Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland in 1971 and retains his registration with the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Western Australia. He has years of experience working as a veterinarian both privately and for the government specialising in beef, sheep and equine species.

Dr Back lectured in large animal production and reproduction at Curtin University from 1975 to 1988. He was a member of the Faculty of Animal Reproduction at the University of California Davis Campus in 1980 and 1984 and a visiting academic at the University of Kentucky in 1980. In 2012 he was awarded the Kendall Medal by the Australian Veterinary Association for his contribution to Veterinary Science.

Post veterinary medicine, Dr Back has held senior executive positions in both Government and Private sectors including in the fields of Tourism and Environmental Management, Emergency Services and the Oil and Gas industries. In addition to responsibilities in Australia and the USA, he has overseen offices in Singapore, Malaysia, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Dr Teresa Collins – Animal Health and Welfare Expert

Teresa Collins is a Senior Lecturer in Animal Welfare and Ethics at School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University and a qualified veterinarian. Dr Collins has carved her name as an expert in animal health and welfare, contributing to many groups shaping contemporary animal welfare practice, for example through her work as a member of the Animal Welfare and Ethics Special Interest Group of the Australian Veterinary Association.

Dr Collins brings a lifetime commitment to animal health and welfare improvement, with a keen interest in the welfare of livestock. After spending her youth on the family dairy farm, she was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years before translating her skills into an academic career with Murdoch University. She has published over 30 papers on animal welfare science and her current work includes research and teaching in animal welfare; using behaviour to assess livestock welfare and furthering veterinary education.

Dr Hugh Millar - Animal Health and Welfare Expert

Hugh Millar is a distinguished veterinarian who has worked extensively in the public sector at state and federal levels for over 35 years. Dr Millar has contributed his animal health and welfare expertise to improve biosecurity, product integrity, veterinary public health, animal health and disease control and animal welfare in his previous roles as Chief Veterinary Officer of Victoria, and Executive Director of Biosecurity Victoria. Dr Millar was recognised for his outstanding contributions as Chief Veterinary Officer with a Public Service Medal in 2011.

Dr Millar served on the Board of Examiners for the National Veterinary Examination Board and the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria for over a decade. He recently reviewed and updated the National Standards for the Operation of Saleyards, and was a member of both the Safemeat Initiatives Review Implementation Steering Committee and the Australian Animal Health Laboratory Strategic Policy Group prior to their recent disbandment. 

Russell Phillips - Regulation specialist

Russell Phillips has held senior positions in the reform and regulatory areas of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission throughout his 35 years in the Australian Public Service.

During his time at Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Phillips was instrumental in implementing recommendations from the Beale Review, an independent review of Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements, and the early development of the regulatory framework of the Biosecurity Act 2015. He was also closely involved in the deregulation of the Australian Wheat Board and the implementation of the Sugar Industry Reform Program. In addition to his expertise in legislative development and regulatory reform, Mr Phillips has an excellent understanding of international trade issues which he developed during his role as Minister Counsellor for Agriculture at the Australian Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

Kevin Shiell – Livestock Export Industry Expert

Kevin Shiell has over 30 years of experience working for state and national livestock industry bodies including as the Executive Director, Pastoral Group for the Victorian Famers Federation and the National  Executive Director for Sheepmeat Council of Australia. He possesses expert knowledge of the livestock export industry, serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Livestock Export Corporation (LiveCorp) through a very challenging and transformative seven years for the industry.​

During his time at LiveCorp, Mr Shiell led many innovative industry programs including the industry quality assurance scheme—Livestock Export Accreditation Program. Mr Shiell is well versed in the practicalities of the trade and oversaw the development of the Australian Livestock Export Standards, the precursor to ASEL.


For more information about the Technical Advisory Committee, contact the secretariat.
Ph: +61 2 6271 6660
Email: TAC Secretariat ​​​​