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The Day Has come: Live Sheep Export Will End in Australia

In Australia live export is used to send stock to multiple international countries with live animal shipments dating back to 1829. A range of animals such as sheep and goats, alpacas, buffalo, camels, cattle and deer are exported live to over 60 countries around the world, particularly to countries in the Middle East. Some of these animals are used for breeding but most are slaughtered for human consumption.

Especially the mass-export of live sheep, cattle and goats for slaughter gives rise to serious welfare problems. These relate to the conditions animals experience during the journey itself, resulting in extensive suffering and high death rates. Furthermore there are concerns about the treatment of animals once they reach the importing countries.

Credit: The Mirror https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/whistleblower-leaks-harrowing-footage-sheep-12330105


Sheep that are live-exported from Australia suffer extreme heat stress, poor handling conditions, stocking densities that prevent them from comfortably lying down or accessing food or water, as well as risk of disease and high mortality rates on board, and extreme changes in climatic conditions.

The export of live animals for slaughter is naturally 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.

Quote from the RSPCA: “This is worst when sheep are exported to, and through, the Middle East by sea during the hot northern summer.

In 2018, shocking footage of sheep suffering on board a long-haul live export boat, the Awassi Express, was aired on 60 Minutes. Knowing the history of live export tragedy, we weren’t surprised, but we were still outraged – as were you. The resulting significant public pressure on the Federal Government finally led to a prohibition on live sheep export to, and through, the Middle East from 1 June to 14 September every year.” https://www.rspca.org.au/take-action/live-sheep-export

Quote from Peta: “Figures from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources indicate that more than 2.5 million animals have died on live-export ships before reaching their destination, often from starvation – as they don’t recognise the pellets they’re given as food – or heat stress.

The fate of animals who survive the excruciating journey is little better: many are taken to filthy markets, where their throats are slit while they’re still conscious.”


The evidence of animal cruelty is present; animal rights organisations (like the above for example) have fought for many years for the Australian Government to stop the live export of animals. To sum it up one more time: every year, millions of Australian sheep and cows are sent on hellish journeys to Southeast Asia and the Middle East – and the Australian Liberal Government fully supported this cruelty.

But finally the day has come. The (Election 2022) incoming Labor government, and most of the new and expanded crossbench, have publicly pledged to bring the cruel live sheep export trade to an end!

Lamb and Ewe - Flickr

Quote: Lyn White AM - Animals Australia

Newsletter “BREAKING: Live sheep export to end” 23.05.2022

“This is an email I've been waiting 20 years to write.

Saturday's election result will mean something different to each and every one of us.

But for animals - this is an historic moment.

That’s because the incoming Labor government, and most of the new and expanded crossbench, have publicly pledged to bring the cruel live sheep export trade to an end.

It was nearly two decades ago that I conducted Animals Australia's first live export investigation. I so clearly remember the shock I felt as I witnessed the brutal killing of Australian sheep in a Kuwaiti slaughterhouse.

On the plane home, armed with the most damning evidence of animal cruelty, I felt that no government could support this industry once they knew the suffering it caused.

I could not have predicted that it would take dozens of further challenging investigations across the Middle East and North Africa; multiple major media exposés; and a brave whistle-blower to risk his life to document the suffering on board live export vessels, to turn the political tide against this industry.

That day has finally come. Live sheep export will end.

Whatever form our new government takes, animals will have the strongest representation in the Federal Parliament in Australian history.”

It is clear that there are many politicians and aspiring politicians who understand just how much Australians care about animals. And that is thanks to the work of compassionate Australians between elections – in keeping issues like live export and factory farming squarely on the political agenda. These tireless efforts have helped put animals on the election agenda too. The Australian Labor Government has committed $4.5m over four years to fund an inspector-general of animal welfare.

Australians have voted on 22.05.2022. The election result will mean something different to each and every one of us.

But for animals - this is an historic moment.



Animals Australia


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