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BREAKING NEWS: Live ex announcement clears the path to #LegislateTheDate

  • Saturday, 11 May 2024

The RSPCA has strongly welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement today of a clear plan and timeline for phasing out live sheep export from 1 May 2028, hailing the beginning of a better future for Australian sheep.

Australia’s leading animal welfare organisation said that the announcement today of a timeline, transition package and funding in this year’s budget clears the path to legislate the date without delay before the next federal election.

“A swift and orderly phase out of live sheep export, with appropriate measures to safeguard animal welfare in the meantime, is the right decision for Australian sheep and Australian farmers,” said RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell.

“We congratulate the Government for listening to the science and the Australian community and for outlining a clear plan for phasing out this cruel and unfixable industry – including funding a transition package in the upcoming Budget.

“There has been an extensive consultation process involving every part of the live sheep export supply chain. Now, we have a clear way forward.

“We’re pleased that the Government has agreed to practical and tangible measures to support farmers to transition away from this trade. The RSPCA supports these initiatives, such as measures to expand processing capacity here in Australia.

“We know that supporting Australians involved in the sheep industry supply chain is critical to the success of this phase out, so we congratulate the Government for making this commitment and funding it in this year’s budget.”

“The Government knows – and the majority of Australians know – that live sheep export is unsustainable, unjustifiable, and completely unnecessary in modern Australia.

"We have already seen a significant expansion of the boxed and chilled meat industry in Australia and this package includes a focus on continuing that expansion. The future of the sheep industry in Australia is a more modern and sustainable one.

“Now’s the time to pick up these recommendations and put them into legislation – creating a better future for Australian sheep and giving much-needed certainty to Australian farmers.”



71% of West Australians, including 69% in rural and regional WA, support the Government’s plan to phase out live sheep export (McCrindle, 2023)

Over 43,000 Australians signed a petition calling for a legislated end date to live sheep export this term of Parliament – one of the largest parliamentary e-petitions in Australia’s history (2023).

For more information and the cumulative and inherent animal welfare impacts of live export on sheep, read here.

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