Regulations, Enforcement and Live Sheep Trade

Post prepared by Dr David Adamson (also posted on his blog)


Regulatory agencies can be described as benevolent social welfare maximisers (Laffont & Tirole 1991) who serve the public interest. However, the effectiveness of regulations is eroded by regulatory capture (regulations are designed in the interest of business and not society) and the failure to enforce regulations.

We can argue that this failure to enforce existing regulations and redesign of regulations away from the public interest has been evident in recent public policy development. The recent cry of ‘smaller taxes’ for business by our current government was fortunately a recent failure of an international race to the bottom.

There is perhaps nothing worse than watching the recent news story about the deaths of over 2,400 sheep over a shipment of 64,000, just after you have had a paper published reviewing the regulations concerning the live trade supply chain (Jackson & Adamson, 2018).

The comment today that the losses were due to extreme weather and crowding, is not a surprise. These are common excuses found here.

These rules and regulations have been developed in response to past failures and mounting public pressure on the live trade industry. These regulations allow for both regulation and criminal action based on losses of these levels.

Just like with the recent water thefts, it’s time to enforce regulations!

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