The Legislation to Ban Live-Sheep Exports Has Passed

Posted on by Dan H

Last night, the Senate passed legislation that will end the live export of sheep by May 2028. Despite attempts by the industry to postpone the bill’ s passage, there is now a legislated end date to live-sheep exports from Australia.

This hard-fought victory comes after decades of work from intrepid investigators and dedicated campaigners. PETA US first teamed up with Animals Australia to investigate the live-export industry in 2006. Since then, numerous exposés have revealed to the public how truly reprehensible this trade is, culminating in the release of video footage in 2018 on the news program 60 Minutes showing exported sheep panting and heat-stricken, lying in piles of melting faeces and the decaying bodies of their flockmates.

PETA protesters and a "sheep" hold signs saying "ban live exports".

Despite these investigations, each year millions of sheep have been forced to endure the cruelty of live export from Australia to the Middle East and North Africa aboard filthy ships and PETA has continued with the pressure through protests, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, leafleting, and enlisting the support of celebrities.

Since our organisation was founded, we’ve been speaking out against the horrors of live export – and we’re relieved things are finally changing for the better.

The date to end the live export of sheep by sea is better late than never, although millions of sheep will suffer atrociously and die miserably before then.

Australia’s live-export industry has continually put greed over basic decency, thrown kindness overboard along with ailing sheep, and caused animals to endure dehydration, starvation, and illness. They are trampled by other animals and suffocate because of the accumulated faeces.

We’re relieved that the end is finally in sight, but sheep aren’t the only victims of this cruel trade. What about cattle and other animals?

A PETA exposé from as recently as October 2023 showed that cattle imported from Australia are still being butchered by workers in Indonesia, even though the Australian government insisted that the gruesome practice had been stopped. Despite a government assurance scheme, cruelty is systemic in the industry because there are no meaningful consequences for non-compliance.

Animals in the live-export trade are crammed onto extremely crowded multilevel ships and spend weeks in reeking, squalid conditions. Exposure to extreme temperatures, starvation, and painful, debilitating diseases are common and result in the deaths of thousands of animals each year.

While we’re relieved that the live export of sheep will finally end, all animals deserve to be spared the same fate. Tell the prime minister that ending the live export of cattle is also long overdue.

a brown cow

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Image by Alexa from Pixabay