Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has revealed documents that show the Department of Agriculture had a role in editing and reviewing the review of its own culture. Senator Faruqi obtained the documents through an Order for Production of Documents into all draft versions of the “Review of the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Regulation of Live Animal Exports”, known as the Moss Review. Fairfax coverage of the issue is available here.
Senator Faruqi said:
“This was a review of the Agriculture Department's culture and performance and the fact that they had a role in influencing the report is completely unacceptable.
“It is blatantly obvious that the Department did everything in its power to try and weaken the report’s recommendations. That is not a regulator interested in animal welfare, it is a regulator interested in defending the cruel live exports industry.
“Whilst the Moss Review was quite rightly deeply critical of the Department of Agriculture as the regulator of live exports, the level of Agriculture Department involvement, even down to the detail of suggesting track changes of the document is deeply inappropriate.
“Live export is inherently cruel. The reality is that it cannot be regulated to meet community expectations on animal welfare. The only solution is to shut it down,” she concluded.