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

A Parliamentary petition initiated by RSPCA Australia calling for a legislated end date to live sheep export has secured nearly 44,000 signatures and is expected to be tabled in the House of Representatives today by Josh Wilson MP, Member for Fremantle.

RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said the petition calls for a legislated end date, within the 47th Parliament, with a phase out to occur within the shortest possible timeframe.

“The petition is one of the largest Australian parliamentary e-petitions in history, receiving an overwhelming level of support from the Australian community,” said Mr Mussell.

“It’s yet another demonstration of how much the Australian community supports a phase out of this cruel and unfixable trade. We’re particularly heartened by the fact that so many Australians showed their support in just a four-week period, and also the significant support this petition received from across the animal welfare sector. 

“It builds on recent surveys showing that that 78% of Australians would support a phase out if farmers were supported through the transition (McCrindle 2022), and, in May this year, a survey showing that 71% of West Australians — where the majority of Australian sheep are exported from — support a phase out (McCrindle 2023). 

“We commend the Australian Government for their continued commitment to the phase out. The next step is to legislate the end date in this Parliamentary term to improve sheep welfare, provide certainty for the farmers, and deliver on community expectations. 

“We deeply appreciate Josh Wilson’s leadership on this issue and are pleased to see such widespread support from across the House of Representatives today.

“This is a clear sign of strong political will to improve animal welfare in Australia, and we trust it will result in decisive action following the independent panel’s report to Government on how and when the phase out should occur.”

In its May submission to the independent panel, the RSPCA made 17 recommendations including that the Australian Government should pass legislation in this Parliamentary term (before the 2025 election), to end Australia’s live sheep export trade. It also recommended a short-term phase out period of no longer than three years from the passage of legislation to avoid adverse animal welfare outcomes of a long-term phase out.

The independent panel is due to lodge its final report and recommendations to the Australian Government by 30 September 2023.

Background:

The RSPCA’s petition was open for four weeks from 4 August 2023 and closed at midnight on 31 August 2023, based on the petition rules required by the House of Representatives Petitions Committee for e-petitions that conform with Parliamentary processes. It received 43,758 signatures, making it the 31st largest petition (out of more than 3,200) ever made via the e-petitions website, and the 5th largest in the 47th Parliament.

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.