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Animal Welfare Groups Welcome Beginning of Live Sheep Export Phase Out Process

Media Release: Australian Alliance for Animals

The Australian Alliance for Animals has today welcomed Agriculture Minister Senator Murray Watt’s announcement on the Government’s plans to phase out the live sheep export trade.

Alliance for Animals’ Policy Director Dr Jed Goodfellow said the formation of an independent panel to lead the transition process was encouraging news.

“What all stakeholders want in this debate is certainty and we look forward to engaging with the panel over the coming months on that task,

“The Independent Panel includes a diverse mix of expertise, and we expect they’ll work with all stakeholders to ensure an appropriate transition away from live sheep exports within a reasonable timeframe,

“Live sheep export has been a source of profound suffering to Australian livestock over the years and has reaped untold damage on the nation’s clean, green agricultural reputation,

“Recent regulatory reviews have only confirmed that it cannot be conducted in a humane manner and phasing it out is the only way of protecting animal welfare consistent with Australian values,

“This announcement will be welcomed by many Australians, including the 2 million plus supporters of the Alliance’s member organisations,

“We will be encouraging all Australians with an interest in animal welfare to participate in the consultation process so that the panel and the Government is under no doubt as to the public’s overwhelming support for the phase out.”

About the Australian Alliance for Animals

The Australian Alliance for Animals is a national charity leading a strategic alliance of Australia’s key animal protection organisations with a combined supporter base of over 2 million people. Core members include Animals Australia, Humane Society International Australia, World Animal Protection Australia, Compassion in World Farming, FOUR PAWS Australia, and Voiceless, the animal protection institute. Website:

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  1. Terence Mills

    The live sheep export trade is in decline and needs to be phased out in favour of a professional frozen/chilled box trade more in line with consumer demands and expectations.

    live sheep exports are down from 1,93 million in 2017/2018 to 478,781 in 2021/2022, it’s a dying trade (literally).

    New Zealand will stop all livestock (i.e. sheep and cattle) transport by sea from April 30 2023.

    A good move by Australia but we also need to address the the cattle trade !

  2. Canguro

    It’s a disgusting industry, always was, and always will be. No amount of lipstick on the pig’s lips can alter this fact. On-board veterinarians wept in sorrow at the unending distress and lamentable suffering and death of these poor creatures consigned to such cruelty. I deeply hate how we humans are willing to endorse such suffering in our fellow creatures, in exchange for dollars. This twentieth century disease of intensive animal husbandry, whether caged hens, feedlot cattle, shed housed piggeries and all other similar examples completely ignores the fact that these are sentient sensitive & intelligent animals whose unfortunate fate is to have economic value to humanity and by virtue of coexisting within the shameful era of capitalistic economics are treated as mere ciphers, units within a system designed to maximise profits and efficiencies with minimal regards to the wholistic welfare of the creatures involved. It’s no surprise that we are all subject to the consequences of these cruel and inhumane practices with their overuse of antibiotics, their poor management systems for dealing with effluent and waste, their use of cheap low-cost labour with its history of physical abuse of caged creatures, with the low-value end-products laced with a range of dangerous chemicals… the whole paradigm is toxic, from go to whoa.

    Supporters will argue, ‘but we’re just supplying a need.’ Fair enough, but not a satisfactory response. People with a more broad-ranging perspective will offer, ‘this is what you get when you have a planet with a dangerously lop-sided imbalance in population numbers, per Homo sapiens now being the dominant species and as the alpha mammal determining the fate of all other creatures within the global ecosystem, it gets to call the shots, inevitably and always, to its own advantage.’

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