• New legislation sets official date for live sheep export phase out

    May 30, 2024


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    Animal welfare organisations are praising the Albanese Government for introducing legislation in Federal Parliament to phase out the live export of sheep by May 1, 2028.

    The Australian Alliance for Animals and the RSPCA are among the organisations showing strong support for the landmark legislation.

    Both organisations say today will be historically significant for animal welfare in Australia.

    Dr Jed Goodfellow, spokesperson for the Alliance today praised the government, acknowledging the commitment to address public concerns and fulfilling election promises.

    “For decades, Australian animals have been made to suffer in this cruel and unnecessary trade,” says Dr Goodfellow.

    “The Australian community has overwhelmingly opposed it as they don’t accept animal cruelty, and they know there is a safer, more humane alternative that adds value to the Australian economy at the same time.”

    Dr Goodfellow also highlights that the legislation not only sets a definitive end date for the trade but also includes a substantial industry adjustment package worth $107 million.

    “Supporting the phase out with a $107 million adjustment package gives confidence to the domestic meat processing sector while supporting them through the transition to 2028,” he says.

    Dr Goodfellow is dismissing opposition to the ban from foreign-owned live export companies.

    “The politically motivated campaigning against the phase out, funded by wealthy foreign-owned live export companies, will not change that reality.

    “Australia knows there is a better way, this legislation delivers it.”


    Dr Jed Goodfellow from Australian Alliance for Animals
    Dr Jed Goodfellow from Australian Alliance for Animals (image: supplied)

    RSPCA commends new legislation

    The RSPCA sees the phase-out as a positive step towards more sustainable and humane practices.

    In commending the Government’s announcement, Richard Mussell, CEO of RSPCA Australia, highlights the extensive suffering sheep endure during live export.

    “The science supporting this position is clear and irrefutable.

    “Today’s motion follows years of this scientific evidence that prove that sheep undoubtedly suffer in live export, both on the lengthy sea voyages and in the country of destination.

    “The RSPCA, and indeed the majority of Australians, look forward to the final passing of this legislation and the day the last live sheep export ship sails from Australia, before the definitive end date of 1 May 2028.

    “Live sheep export is cruel, unfixable and unsustainable, and Australia can do better.”

    Mr Mussell says there’s a myriad of welfare issues associated with live export. Including transport stress, extreme temperatures, overcrowding, and the risk of injury and disease.

    He notes that public sentiment has consistently opposed live export, with polls indicating that approximately 70% of Australians support the government’s policy to end the practice.

    Undoubtedly, this legislative step marks a significant shift in Australia’s animal welfare policy. With widespread support from the public and animal welfare advocates, who claim the nation is moving towards more humane and economically sustainable practices.

    RSPCA's campaign photo for the phase out of live sheep export phase out

    What is the Australians Alliance for Animals?

    The Australian Alliance for Animals is a national charity leading a strategic alliance of Australia’s key animal protection organisations. With the organisations combined, the supporter base of over two million people.

    Core members include Animals Australia, Humane Society International Australia, World Animal Protection Australia, Compassion in World Farming, FOUR PAWS Australia, and Voiceless, the animal protection institute.

    → Visit Australian Alliance for Animals website for more information.



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