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The RSPCA has welcomed a parliamentary committee’s endorsement of the bill to phase out live sheep export, paving the way for the legislation to pass the Parliament without delay.

“As the committee heard, live sheep export has cumulative and inherent animal welfare issues that are simply unfixable,” said RSPCA Australia Chief Science Officer Dr Suzie Fowler.

“It hasn’t been fixed, and there is simply no way it can be fixed.  The sheep welfare issues inherent to the trade are not ‘old’ problems – they have not and cannot be adequately addressed by regulatory change. We’re pleased that the committee has recognised this and recommended that the Bill be passed.

“The evidence doesn’t lie. Independent observer reports show that sheep are – still – frequently suffering, starving and sick on board these vessels.

“We’re also heartened to see an overwhelming response from animal-loving Australians, with over 6,200 submissions made to the inquiry in support of a phase out.

“We also note the committee’s recommendations reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future, including the consideration of additional measures in the future to support Australian farmers and the supply chain to transition away from live sheep export as soon as possible.

“We look forward to the Bill passing the Parliament as soon as possible, to legislate the end date of 1 May 2028 and put an end to this unnecessary and unfixable trade once and for all.”

The report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture can be found here.

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