A historic day for animal welfare in Australia as Federal Government introduces live sheep export phase out legislation to Parliament 

Government introduce legislation to end live sheep exports by 2028


30.05.2024 - Today, the Federal Government has introduced legislation to end live sheep exports by 2028 from Australia. This action will spare the suffering of thousands of sheep and represents the views of millions of Australians who have called for an end to this trade for decades.  

This momentous action is a result of decades of Australians expressing their lack of support for the trade, countless investigations into extreme animal suffering, and thorough expert examination of the declining trade.  

The evidence has been clear, and now the Federal Government has fulfilled its election promise to introduce legislation to end the live sheep export trade for good.  

Rebecca Linigen, National Director of FOUR PAWS Australia said: 

“FOUR PAWS Australia applaud the Albanese Government for upholding their election promise to phase out live sheep exports, reflecting the views of not only their voters but the vast majority of Australians.  

“Ending the live sheep exports trade aligns with modern community expectations on how animals should be treated, not just in Australia but on a global scale.  

“For years, FOUR PAWS Australia and the entire animal welfare community have been calling for an end to this brutal trade, which has resulted in some of our nation’s most shocking cases of animal suffering. 

“Despite all its efforts to retain its social licence, the dwindling* live sheep export industry must face the fact that Australia will no longer support sheep suffering for live export. 

“Given the phase out is being supported with a generous $107 million adjustment package which offers certainty and support to those impacted, follows a rigorous process conducted by an Independent Panel on the Phase out of Live Sheep Exports, and is overwhelmingly supported by the Australian public, there should be no doubt that ending this trade is the right decision.” 



* Australia's lamb and mutton exports were worth $4.5 billion in 2022-23 whereas live sheep exports by sea were less than $77 million in 2022-23, less than 0.1 percent of Australia's estimated agricultural production in that year.

Elise Burgess

Elise Burgess

Head of Communications


M: 0423 873 382

FOUR PAWS Australia
GPO Box 2845 

Main Phone: 1800 454 228

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.

Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.

With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.au

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