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  Heat Stress Risk Assessment

The time is now – this could be the death knell for the cruel live sheep trade, and we need your help to keep the pressure on!

Since shocking footage of sheep suffering on board multiple live export journeys to the Middle East was released last April, RSPCA supporters have taken countless actions to call for an end to this cruel trade.

Your voice has been heard, and the government is finally starting to listen – in December 2018, the Department of Agriculture released the Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) review, with recommendations that could spell the end for live sheep export in the very near future.

Why? Because the review is recommending that – as we’ve long argued - heat stress should be assessed based on animal welfare, as opposed to mortality as is currently the case.

That is to say – just because an animal didn’t die, doesn’t mean it didn’t suffer immensely.

This will have significant implications for the export of sheep – the Department’s own ‘independent’ observer reports from journeys undertaken since June 2018 confirm that heat stress during the Middle Eastern summer period of May to October is ‘unavoidable’.

We’ve repeatedly said the live export industry is a business model based on cruelty. They make their money by placing Australian animals to suffer in unacceptable conditions.

The science and evidence is finally being acknowledged – there is no way to protect sheep from heat stress and suffering on board long-haul live export journeys in the Middle Eastern summer, without stopping those journeys entirely.

The HSRA review is open for public consultation, and we need you to add your voice to our call

Ask the Minister for Agriculture to heed the recommendations, and end all live sheep exports from May to October, to protect Aussie animals from extreme suffering.

We are so close to seeing an end to this suffering – please take action today and tell Minister Littleproud that animal welfare can no longer be disregarded by the live export industry.

Make a submission through the RSPCA

Add your voice to RSPCA Australia’s submission now.

Your email will also be sent to the Hon David Littleproud MP (Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources).

Make your own detailed submission

The Government hasn’t made it easy to make a detailed submission to the Heat Stress Risk Assessment review. But if this issue is important to you, it’s worth the time.

Your contribution will help reinforce the RSPCA’s call for animal welfare to be prioritised in live exports.

The Department of Agriculture requires all submissions to be made through the Have Your Say platform. You’ll need to follow the steps below to submit your response:

  1. Register for an account on the Have Your Say website (if you haven’t already).
  2. Develop your submission. The RSPCA is supporting all eight recommendations proposed within the Review – but we want to make sure that the Minister acknowledges the science and evidence and implements the recommendations as they are proposed, without watering them down. For that reason, we encourage you to highlight the four areas we’ve outlined in our supporter email here, as these are the recommendations that are most likely to be diluted.
  3. Save your submission as a PDF or Word document, and log on to Have Your Say to submit here.


60 Minutes Story

After horrifying footage of sheep suffering during multiple live export journeys to the Middle East, tens of thousands of you emailed the Federal and Western Australian Ministers for Agriculture, calling for urgent action to prevent further cruelty.

APRIL '18 / MAY '18

As government and industry scrambled to justify the continuation of live sheep export, tens of thousands of you emailed your MPs and Federal Ministers to keep up the pressure for immediate action to end the cruelty.

JUNE '18

While the Government launched multiple reviews into the live export trade, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority reviewed its standards for livestock carriers. Thousands joined us to call for improved treatment and conditions for livestock travelling by sea.


A historic vote passed the Senate, in favour of phasing out live sheep export, led by Senators Lee Rhiannon and Derryn Hinch. Thousands of you joined us in thanking these Senators for their leadership on this critical issue for animals.


The Department of Agriculture released the review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock – the RSPCA called for animal welfare provisions to be drastically enhanced. Thousands of you joined the RSPCA’s submission calling on the Government to do better for animals.


Compassionate Australians continue to take action against the cruel live export trade. Will you help us end the cruelty for good?

MAKE A SUBMISSION THROUGH THE RSPCA to the Heat Stress Risk Assessment review

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