VALE believe that is imperative that the AVA policy clause remains unchanged. Independence of veterinarians is a) necessary to protect the veterinarians themselves (any shipboard veterinarian that has ever spoken out about animal welfare or shipboard conditions has lost their job when they should have been rewarded...by the government) and b) because any Australian government authorised veterinarian should be paid by the Australian government (from exporter funds) and not by the exporter. Their role as dictated by ASEL (ASEL v 2.3) is to record and that should be an independent function. AND.....lets face it, if the government itself thought the arrangement was watertight they wouldnt have placed INDEPENDENT OBSERVERS on all the ships in addition to the exporter-employed veterinarians!
So we have followed up. Please watch this space and if you are a veterinarian who is a member of the AVA please contact VALE immediately on firstname.lastname@example.org