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New research confirms more than 7 in 10 Western Australians still want the cruel and unnecessary live sheep export trade to end.

Independent polling commissioned by the RSPCA and conducted in May 2023 found 71% of Western Australians support the Federal Government’s policy to phase out live sheep export by sea. 

This includes 72% of people in metropolitan areas, and 69% in rural and regional Western Australia.

The polling also found almost 9 in 10 West Australians across the board agreed government should support farmers and others in the supply chain to transition out of live sheep exports. 

RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said the results were consistent with past independent polling on live export undertaken over many years.

“These results prove that, even in the very historical heartland of live sheep export, the vast majority of Australians are ready to see this cruel practice end,” said Mr Mussell.

“The independent poll asked a simple and straightforward question – ‘do you support the Government’s policy to phase-out live sheep export?’. The question was clear – and so was the overwhelming response from the community. 

“The results from rural and regional Western Australians are particularly reassuring, as they confirm what we’ve always known - that the majority of people in rural and regional Western Australia also firmly believe Australian sheep deserve better than live export.

“It’s a sign that the extended campaign we’ve seen from live sheep export lobbyists has failed to even slightly shift the dial on Australia’s contempt for this unnecessary practice.

“These figures reaffirm the phase-out is a popular and much-welcomed policy decision by the Federal Government, and – when considered together with the irrefutable animal welfare science which consistently shows that this trade is inherently cruel – should spur the government to move forward with legislation as soon as possible, setting an end date during the current term of Parliament.”

Mr Mussell also said the demise of live sheep export made it clear the public cannot and will not stand for the wool being pulled over their eyes after years of clear evidence of the inherently cruel nature of this industry.

“This is what losing your social licence looks like.

“It’s when every day Australians are overwhelmingly and irretrievably opposed to your practice and want to see it end, permanently.

“And it’s when months of intensive campaigning and marketing spend by exporters and their lobbyists fail to make even the slightest difference to that community opposition.

“Australians have made it clear they want animal industries to transition away from cruel and outdated practices.

“Industries that are based on inherently cruel practices must transition to more humane and socially acceptable practices to better protect animal welfare, if they want to ensure their sustainability before it's too late,” said Mr Mussell.

 

Survey results:

Survey conducted by McCrindle Research from 8–11 May 2023.

The Federal Government is planning to phase out live sheep exports from Australia by sea (you can read more here). Do you support this policy?

Response

Western Australia (n=800)

Metro WA

(n=450)

Regional WA

(n=350)

Yes, definitely

38.25%

38.00%

38.57%

Yes, somewhat

32.88%

34.44%

30.86%

No, not really

20.63%

20.89%

20.29%

No, not at all

8.25%

6.67%

10.29%

 

Do you think the Government should support farmers and others in the supply chain to transition out of live sheep exports?

Response

Western Australia (n=800)

Metro WA

(n=450)

Regional WA

(n=350)

Yes, definitely

57.75%

56.89%

58.86%

Yes, somewhat

30.25%

32.22%

27.71%

No, not really

9.13%

8.89%

9.43%

No, not at all

2.88%

2.00%

4.00%

 

How long do you think it should take to phase out live sheep exports?

Response

Western Australia (n=800)

Metro WA

(n=450)

Regional WA

(n=350)

1-2 years

35.50%

36.67%

34.00%

3-4 years

40.75%

40.22%

41.43%

More than four years

23.75%

23.11%

24.57%

 

In the next federal election, would you be more inclined to vote for a candidate who supported a phase out of live sheep exports?

Response

Western Australia (n=800)

Metro WA

(n=450)

Regional WA

(n=350)

Yes, definitely

26.88%

28.00%

25.43%

Yes, somewhat

36.13%

38.22%

33.43%

No, not really

26.38%

25.56%

27.43%

No, not at all

10.63%

8.22%

13.71%

 

 
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