History has been made: Live Sheep Exports from Australia to finally end 

Senate passes Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024 


2 July 2024 – Last night, the Australian Senate voted in support for the Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024. This is a huge win for Australian sheep, as the live sheep export phase out will now be enshrined in legislation. 
This is monumental and means that millions of Australian sheep will no longer be forced to endure the incredible cruelty that is live export. 

Sheep are sentient beings worthy of respect. Yet in the history of Australian live export, we have witness countless examples of their extreme suffering within the live export trade, even as recent as January 2024. 

This legislation is a big step forward not only for sheep but for all animals. 

"FOUR PAWS Australia applaud the Albanese Government for upholding their election promise to phase out live sheep exports, and the Senators who voted in favour of the ban. This vote reflects the views of not only their constituents, but of the Australian community." 

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

​“Despite attempts from a small section of the industry to keep this brutal trade going, it has been clear for many years that the era of live sheep export was over. There has been too much cruelty, too much suffering, and too many chances given. Australians have had enough. Government and industry need to work together to proactively transition out and end Australia’s shameful role in this trade, once and for all.” 

​“This phase out is being supported with a generous financial package, which offers certainty and support to those impacted. This decision follows a rigorous process conducted by an Independent Panel, and is overwhelmingly supported by the Australian public. There really should be no doubt that ending this trade is the right decision.” 

Rebecca Linigen, National Director of FOUR PAWS Australia

FOUR PAWS Australia has campaigned on the live export issue for years, both here in Australia and internationally through its global organisation. 
"It is a huge win for Australian sheep that the live sheep export phase out will now be enshrined in legislation. This long overdue, but historic decision comes after years of animal welfare organisations and the Australian public calling for an end to this horrific trade,” says Linigen.  
While this announcement is welcome news, 2028 is still four years away, and FOUR PAWS Australia remain concerned about the welfare impacts this long phase out will have on sheep.  

“Across these four years, hundreds of thousands of sheep will continue to face heat stress and long arduous journeys and many will face inhumane slaughter while fully conscious. 

“It is our hope that Government and industry can work together to proactively transition out of the trade and bring an end to the suffering sooner rather than later. 

​"Whilst there is much more to do for Australian sheep and other animals who are suffering within live transport, today, we celebrate this important win for welfare,” says Linigen. 

For more information, please contact FOUR PAWS Australia's Head of Communications, Elise Burgess. 

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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