Proposed function of the Inspector General of Animal Welfare and Live Exports

18 Aug 2023

In the lead-up to the 2022 Federal election, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) announced that it would establish the office of the independent Inspector-General for Animal Welfare and increase accountability and transparency for reporting of animal welfare breaches. Post election it became clear this office would be limited to an expansion of the Inspector General of the Live Animal Exports.   

The Federal Government has consulted on the proposal to expand the current role of the Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports. The AVA made a submission welcoming this, but registering disappointment that office was not going to be expanded beyond live export. In the submission we set out our vision for a broader independent expert body for national animal welfare coordination and oversight.  

The Bill to expand the function of the Inspector General has now been introduced to parliament.  An inquiry into the Bill is being undertaken by the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee. We also made a submission to this inquiry and appeared at a committee hearing on 14 August 2023. We reiterated our position, particularly that the AVA recommends the functions of the Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports be expanded to a much wider remit. This would be along the lines of the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for an ‘Australian Commission for Animal Welfare’ to be established to coordinate national animal welfare policy and standards development, and to publicly assess the effectiveness of state and territory implementation and enforcement.  

We feel this is urgently needed to address many of the deficiencies in Australia’s current animal welfare system.