Huge win for Australian sheep! Federal Government unveils ‘transition’ plan to end Live sheep export by 2028

This weekend, Government announced their transition plan to end live sheep exports. What does this mean for the future of live export and animal welfare?


We have been campaigning for years for better welfare measures for animals used in live export and over the past two years, as part of the Australian Alliance for Animals, we have been asking for the Albanese Government to #LegislateTheDate and commit to their promises to end the cruelty for good.

This weekend, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt made the long-awaited and historic announcement that Live Sheep Export would be ended by 2028.

Rebecca Linigen, National Director of FOUR PAWS Australia said:

“It’s great to see the Australian Government make good on their election promise by announcing a date for the phase out of live sheep export.

The live export industry lost its social licence many years ago. This cruel trade has led to the suffering and death of countless helpless animals over the decades, and it will be a huge relief to the Australian community that it is finally coming to an end.

While this announcement is welcome news, 2028 is still 4 years away so we remain concerned about the welfare impacts this long phase out will have on sheep. Across these 4 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.

Given the phase out is being supported with a $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.”  

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.

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