Open Letter from Leading Animal Protection Groups to Albanese Government

FOUR PAWS Australia together with 10 leading animal protection organisations in Australia, have written an open letter to Prime Minister Albanese asking that his Government fulfil its election promise to phase out live sheep exports from Australia.


On 8 April 2018, Australians were shocked to their core as the suffering that Australian sheep have experienced for decades during export to the Middle East was exposed on national television for all to see.

On 3 May 2018, in acknowledgement of the community’s demands for action, and the indisputable scientific evidence showing that live sheep export is not compatible with the most basic standards of animal welfare, the Australian Labor Party promised to phase out the trade.

"From day one in government, we will develop and implement a strategic red meat industry plan which will focus on more processing and more jobs in Australia and begin that transition away from live exports," said Labor’s Shadow Agriculture Minister.

Four years later, during the 2022 federal election, the Australian Labor Party again promised the Australian community that it would phase out the trade if elected to government.

On each occasion, these promises were applauded by the community. Australians know there’s a better way. They know that processing sheep here on Australian shores better protects animal welfare and value-adds to local economies at the same time.

There was also a deep sense of relief that finally a government would act, and we would no longer have to witness the litany of disasters and horrifying incidents of cruelty that have become synonymous with this trade.

As you approach your third year in power, we are still waiting for the Australian Labor Party to fulfil its promise to the Australian people.

We acknowledge that the trade will not come to an end before the next election, but the phase out must commence and be enshrined within legislation within this term.

The Australian community supports a phase out and expects the Government to act decisively, especially considering this is a policy of six years standing, and one that has been taken to two federal elections.

The federal budget on 14 May presents the ideal time for the Albanese Government to act by announcing the end date, allocating funds to support the transition, and introducing legislation. This will provide certainty to farmers and demonstrate to the community the true commitment of the Australian Labor Party to end this trade.

It’s time to deliver on your promise. It’s time to legislate the date.

Yours sincerely,   

Dawn Lowe Project Manager, Animals Angels - Australia. 

Glenys Oogjes Chief Executive Officer, Animals Australia. 

Dr Bidda Jones AM Co-Director, Australian Alliance for Animals.   

Rebecca Linigen National Director, FOUR PAWS Australia. 

Erica Martin Chief Executive Officer, Humane Society International Australia.

Richard Mussell Chief Executive Office, RSPCA Australia

Rosemary Elliot President, Sentient

Rebecca Tapp Manager, Stop Live Exports

Sue Foster President, Vets Against Live Export

Ondine Sherman Managing Director and Co-Founder, Voiceless

Ben Pearson Country Director, World Animal Protection Australia and New Zealand. 


Take a look at the letter here.

Support the phase out of live sheep exports!


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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