Our role

The state and territory member Societies provide services to animals in need through their shelters and inspectorates. In the national office, RSPCA Australia works to influence animal welfare policy, practice and legislation across the country
Go to Our role

Key issues

The RSPCA advocates for the welfare of animals across a number of industries, issues and platforms. Help from our supporters is important to progress change. Working together is key.
Go to Key issues
take action live sheep export alternate
Priority issue
Australia is closer than it has ever…
Live sheep export

Support us

Whether you're an individual or a business, there are multiple ways you can support the RSPCA
Go to Support us
An animal in the RSPCA care being cared for by an RSPCA vet
Donate now to support your local RSPCA and make a difference to animal welfare across Australia


The RSPCA is an independent, community-based charity providing animal care and protection services across the country.
Go to About
about us national statistics
Read our National Statistics
Compiled on a national basis by RSPCA…
Annual statistics


By choosing adoption, you’ll not only have the chance to make a friend for life, but you’ll be giving an animal a second chance and helping support the RSPCA.
Go to Adopt
adopt a pet logo
Visit the Adopt A Pet website
Make a difference to a pet’s life today.
Search Adoptapet

The RSPCA is pleased to see animal welfare on the agenda this federal election and commends those parties and candidates that have committed to improving animal welfare.

The RSPCA continues to urge all political parties and candidates to commit to progressing priority animal welfare issues, including planning for the end of live sheep export.

The live sheep export industry has been in terminal decline for decades and a transition to a chilled and frozen meat only trade is not only the right thing for animal welfare but offers a better and more sustainable option for Australian farmers.

With a number of parties maintaining support for a phase out of live sheep exports from the last federal election to the present, this volatile and disaster-plagued industry’s days are predictably and clearly numbered.

Sheep subjected to long-haul live export face extreme temperatures and the risk of severe heat stress. They endure weeks at sea on a constantly moving boat at stocking densities that prevent them from comfortably lying down to rest at the same time or easily accessing food or water.

Those who survive this perilous journey face an uncertain outcome in the country of destination, with the risk of poor handling, poor transport and conditions, and inhumane slaughter - because Australian standards cannot be enforced overseas.

The overwhelming majority of Australians also don’t support live export, with more than 2 out of 3 Australians wanting to see the practice end according to recent polling. Importantly, this includes 70% of Western Australians and 66% of South Australians, the states where the industry is mostly based.

Claims about the economic impact of ending live export of sheep also appear to be vastly overstated and not borne out by the facts. Research shows that a sheep processed in Australia will contribute significantly more to the Australian economy than live exporting the animal.1

Most recently, economic analysis conducted by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) also concluded that abolishing live export will generate an initial economic disruption that will be swiftly followed by a smooth and relatively low-cost transition to alternative markets.2

Claims that phasing out the trade will result in job losses for around 3,500 Australians, predominantly in WA where the majority of live sheep export occurs, are also untrue. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment's 2019 Regulatory Impact Statement found transitioning to domestic processing was likely to increase total employment in WA.3

Overseas demand for Australia's chilled and frozen meat continues to grow.

Live sheep export is bad for animal welfare, lacks the support of two-thirds of Australians and is unnecessary given the viable economic alternatives.

The RSPCA once again calls on all parties to proactively improve animal welfare, secure a better and more sustainable future for Australian farmers, and meet the community’s expectations by committing to phasing out this practice once and for all.


Authorised by Richard Mussell, RSPCA Australia, Canberra


subscribe box

Stay informed on big issues and how you can help improve animal welfare across Australia.

Subscribe today and we’ll keep you updated on all the latest campaigns, events and news.