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
Donate

About

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

Adopt

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 Adoptapet website
Make a difference to a pet’s life today.
Search Adoptapet

 

The RSPCA is calling on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to urgently tighten regulations that allow breeding animals to be exported while heavily pregnant.

A DAFF investigation report released late yesterday shows current regulations surrounding sheep and cattle exported abroad for breeding purposes pose huge risks to some of Australia’s most vulnerable animals.

“DAFF’s investigation into last year’s Qatar debacle - which saw 250 pregnant dairy cows exported to Qatar and start calving within days of their arrival - highlights that the current Australian Standards for Exported Livestock (ASEL) are failing to protect breeding animals,” said Heather Neil, RSPCA Australia CEO.

Current standards state that breeding cattle exported by air must be a maximum of 250 days’ gestation at the scheduled date of departure. However, there is an accepted margin of error in pregnancy testing of late-term cattle of 30 days. The DAFF investigation report states that ‘an animal certified as 250 days pregnant at the time of export could actually legitimately be as many as 280 days pregnant and hence could have a full term calf anywhere from the day of arrival’.

“Heavily pregnant cows are far too vulnerable to be exported and DAFF should act immediately to close this loophole in the standards. In the RSPCA’s view, no pregnant heifer or cow should be exported if they are considered to be more than 220 days pregnant at the time of export, to allow for the 30-day margin of error,” said Ms Neil.

DAFF’s report also shows how completely unprotected Australian breeding animals are once they leave our shores. The fact that up to 7,000 Australian sheep and a number of cows and calves can die from malnutrition and heat stress at this Qatar facility is proof that a system needs to be put in place rapidly, so animals in the future can only be sent to places that have the capacity to care for them. 

 “No animal should be sent overseas for breeding or dairy purposes unless the facility they’re going to has the capacity to care for them. What we have seen in Qatar is gross animal neglect, something that could have been avoided had appropriate Government regulation been in place,” said Ms Neil.

 Media contact – Elise Meakin 0419 748 907 

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.