An independent review has found there has been a catastrophic failure to regulate the live animal export industry.
A culture of fear within the Department of Agriculture meant staff were not reporting their concerns about animal welfare within the industry, the report found.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, who initiated the review earlier this year following revelations of thousands of sheep deaths aboard the Awassi Express, will establish an Independent Inspector General of Live Exports.
The review was conducted by Phillip Moss AM, a public sector integrity expert who was appointed in April this year.
“I specifically asked Mr Moss to consider an Inspector General in his review, and I said at the time I don’t care who thought of the idea,” Mr Littleproud said in a statement.
“Mr Moss recommends it so I’m doing it, I don’t give a stuff who claims the credit.
“The Principal Regulatory Officer will be key in driving cultural change within the department as well as improving compliance and investigations.”
It is among 31 recommendations contained in the report, all of which Mr Littleproud said on Wednesday morning the Government had accepted.
The report found the removal of the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Branch, in 2013, led to many of the regulatory failures identified in the report.
The decision to remove that branch was a decision made by the former Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Littleproud said this morning he would instruct the Department of Agriculture to reinstate that branch.