Terms of reference for the review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer

​Purpose

To advise on conditions (as specified in approved arrangements), any changes to the administration of ASEL and/or actions that would be required to assure health and welfare outcomes for sheep being transported to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer. 

Coverage

The review will consider the best evidence in the time available, including consideration of the scientific literature, recent live sheep export related video footage, reports from observers on recent vessels and other relevant information, to:  

  • Recommend any changes and/or additions to the conditions within approved arrangements, that would be required to assure animal health and welfare if the trade were to continue. This will include, but not be limited to, conditions addressing: 
    • stocking density (and if Heat Stress Risk Assessment model stocking density levels were maintained, what additional measures would be required to achieve health and welfare outcomes);
    • bedding and animal waste management;
    • ventilation (including potential use of airconditioning) and the assessment of heat stress risk;
    • livestock systems for feed and water;
    • the competency of crew, provision of stockmen and role of the AAV in managing animal health and welfare;
    • morbidity and mortality management;
    • contingency planning;  
    • reporting.
  • Evaluate and review the conditions (as specified in approved arrangements) that have been placed on voyages in previous northern summers and more recently in the lead up to the 2018 northern summer, and recommend any revisions.
  • Identify any improvements in the administration of ASEL, including, but not limited to:
    • the Department’s interactions with AMSA for vessel approval;
    • the effectiveness of current reporting requirements for vets and exporters (including other specific animal welfare outcome indicators); and
    • additional assurance that approved arrangements are being met.

The reviewer will have the opportunity to seek advice from members of the independent ASEL Technical Review Panel and department staff (including Dr Mark Schipp, the Australian Government Chief Veterinary Officer.

Anticipated Milestones

Contract Signed 16 April 2018
Brief project outline and consultation plan*19 April 2018
Draft final reportNo later than 7 May 2018
Final reportNo later than 11 May 2018

*The project plan will outline the proposed process for the review, including a plan for consultation with relevant stakeholders.