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Australia is closer than it has ever…
Live sheep export

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Live sheep export

Australia is closer than it has ever been to ending live sheep export by sea.

To ensure this actually happens, an end date for the trade must be legislated as soon as possible, and before the next federal election.



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The Federal Government has reaffirmed their commitment to transitioning away from live sheep export to a better future, once and for all.

In 2023, the Government appointed an independent panel to consult on – not if – but how and when this transition should take place.

Please help us to make sure a sound transition happens. Most importantly, the Government must legislate an end date this term of Parliament — otherwise an end date to Australia's live sheep export may not occur. This would subject hundreds of thousands more sheep to the trade. It would also prolong uncertainty for Australian farmers, and further damaging Australia's international reputation.

Nearly 44,000 Australians showed their support for legislating an end date this term of Parliament. And 71% of West Australians support the phase out.

The Independent Panel has now provided its report to the Federal Government and it is currently being considered.

In the meantime, please help remind the Government and farmers why ending the trade is the right thing to do, and a decision we support.

This could include writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, sharing the push to #LegislateTheDate on social media, or contacting your local MP. See below for more ways you can help.

Why does this matter?

Sheep suffer throughout the live export journey, and welfare issues are cumulative and inherent across the supply chain.

They’re at risk of extreme heat stress, exhaustion, hunger and motion sickness.

They’re at risk because of the unavoidable reality that live export leads to weeks of stressful circumstances for the sheep including repeated handling by unfamiliar people, standing in their own faeces and urine, unfamiliar environments with loud noises, varied ventilation, high humidity and inhumane slaughter practices once they disembark at their destination.

Finally, all that is about to change – but we need your help.

How you can help

With the independent panel having completed their report and provided it to the Government, you can help show your support and ensure the Government follow through on their commitment:

  1. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. It’s quick, easy and a powerful way of demonstrating that you care about this issue.
  2. Share our digital resources with your friends and family on social media – you might like to share this page, change your cover photo to one of our sheep export images, or share some of our posts – it’ll help ensure a wider audience knows about this issue and every little thing helps to ensure an end date is legislated. Don’t forget to use the #LegislateTheDate hashtag!
  3. Let your federal member of Parliament know you support the phase out. If your federal MP supports a phase out, you can do this by publishing a quick message of support to their social media, or writing to let them know that they have your support to vote for an end to live sheep export in Parliament when the time comes to legislate the change. If your MP doesn’t support a phase out, you can let them know why this change is important to you by writing to them directly or posting on their social media. Find your MP here.

We suggest including some of the following points:

  • Setting an end date this term of Parliament is vital to ensure the phase out occurs; ensure sheep welfare is better protected; provide certainty for Australian farmers; and improve Australia's international reputation by protecting animal welfare.
  • Remember, the Government have already made it clear that they are committed and the phase out will go ahead, so focus your message on how and when you would like to see a phase out.

Sign up to the RSPCA Australia eNews – you’ll be among the first to know when there’s further action you can take to help ensure an end to live sheep export.

View related content

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Live export 'Timeline of Tragedy'
See the extensive ‘isolated incidents’ of live sheep and cattle export tragedies that stretch back decades in our Timeline of Tragedy

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