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The dropping of cruelty charges today relating to the most notorious among Australia’s many live export disasters proves once and for all that Australian regulations cannot protect sheep from live export cruelty.

The fact that 2,400 sheep can die in such horrific circumstances and there’s not a system in place that can hold anyone accountable shows that live export is a broken industry.

As we’ve known for a very long time, animal cruelty is inherent to live export and these issues simply can’t be fixed. No amount of regulation will fix the trade.

That’s why the RSPCA will continue to support in the strongest possible terms a phase out of live sheep export as soon as practicable.

As we keenly wait to #LegislateTheDate and finalise the phase-out of live sheep export, today’s outcome will be a timely reminder that the Awassi Express was just one incident in a long timeline of tragedy that brought us to this point, and that for the many caring Australians who support this policy, the end of live sheep export cannot come soon enough.

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