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The RSPCA has reiterated its strong support for the decision to phase out live sheep export, and was pleased to see the Federal Government reaffirm its commitment to phasing out the cruel, unfixable, and unpopular trade.

“When it comes to live sheep export, it has been good to see a focus today on the animal welfare science,” said RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell.

“This government has made the decision to end this trade based on the science and evidence. The priority now must be setting the end date to secure certainty for the sheep industry.

“The science and evidence is clear. Live sheep export is cruel - sheep suffer extensively and experience extremely poor welfare, both on board live export ships and at their destination.

“Live sheep export is also unfixable - there is simply no way to eliminate these risks and overcome the conditions that result in these deep and inherent animal welfare issues.

“Finally, live sheep export is not supported by the Australian public, and the community too will be reassured to hear the Australian Government reaffirm its opposition today.

“Put simply, this practice is completely and utterly indefensible. “The Federal Government knows this, which is why they took to the election a policy to phase out the trade.

“We welcomed that policy then, and today we welcome the reaffirmation of that commitment. “The RSPCA continues to support this decision, but we reiterate that we want to see the dates for this phase out legislated as soon as possible, in this term of Parliament.

“The time is now to put an end date on live sheep export, to close the door on one of the most serious animal welfare issues in Australia today, and stop this shameful and outdated practice once and for all.”

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