Sheep who are exported live across the equator to the Middle East suffer from predictable and unavoidable heat stress during the highest risk period of May to October.
Independent whistle-blower footage captured on five journeys in 2017 showed Australian sheep suffering and dying on horrific conditions, surrounded by filth and waste. You can watch the story here, but please be warned - it’s very distressing
Since then, the government has undertaken multiple reviews and placed a pause on live sheep export from June to the middle of September, but this is not good enough.
There’s been enough talk and too many delays – the evidence remains clear. It’s time to protect the welfare of Australian sheep and move toward phasing out this cruel trade for good
What needs to change
The export of live animals for slaughter is inherently high-risk, with decades of repeated evidence of suffering and cruelty. The RSPCA believes live animal export should be phased out in favour of an increased trade in boxed and chilled meat from animals that have been humanely slaughtered here in Australia.
For as long as live sheep export continue, as a priority, the prohibition on journeys to the Middle East must extend to protect animals from the highest risk period, from May to October
Most recently, we’ve provided advice to the review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), and the Heat Stress Risk Assessment review for live sheep journeys and are working with the Australian Government to ensure the recommendations from these reviews are implemented as soon as possible.
In the meantime we’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress of these reviews, and on how you can take action to protect Aussie sheep. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our newsletter to receive updates.
27th September 2019
‘Weak and unacceptable’: RSPCA condemns proposed backflip in live export regulation RSPCA Media Release
11th September 2019
More footage of live export cruelty further evidence of industry’s inability to protect animal welfare RSPCA Media Release
18th September 2019
RSPCA welcomes passage of Bill to establish Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports RSPCA Media Release
1st August 2019
RSPCA welcomes decision to extend prohibited period for live sheep exports into September
Timeline of Tragedy RSPCA Blog Post
30th August 2018
The story so far RSPCA Knowledgebase
Why is the RSPCA opposed to the live export trade? RSPCA Knowledgebase
What are the standards of animal welfare onboard live export ships? RSPCA Knowledgebase
What happens to livestock that are exported for slaughter overseas?