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The RSPCA has welcomed the news today of concrete next steps towards a phase out of live sheep export.

Specifically, the Federal Government is expected today to formally announce the independent panel that will determine how and when to phase out live sheep exports, and which will report back by September 2023.

“This is an appropriate and sensible move and it’s good to see the Government on track to setting an end date on this cruel and unfixable live sheep export trade,” said RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell.

“An independent panel, at arms-length from government, with a diversity of expertise – including animal welfare expertise – will be well-placed to advise the Government on how best to achieve a phase out.

“The question is not whether to phase out live sheep export – the Australian community and the Government decided that a long time ago – but how.

“We reiterate our call that the Government must legislate an end date during this term of Parliament. Putting legislation in place before 2025 is the only way to give Australian farmers certainty, to protect Australia’s reputation internationally, and to ensure that this cruel trade actually ends.

“The panel is due to report by September, which allows ample time for the Government to consider the panel’s findings and prepare legislation, to be introduced and passed before the next election.

“Today’s announcement is another step closer to ending live sheep export, which has deep, inherent and unfixable animal welfare issues. We look forward to supporting the Government throughout this process and to hearing the panel’s findings.”

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