Live export key media stories

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 2 May 2018

Hundreds of thousands of people have spoken out against live sheep export cruelty.

Shocking footage of the routine suffering of Australian sheep at sea caused massive public and political outrage. Months later, the trade is unravelling:

  • With major exporters suspended, shipping has stalled so, for the first time in the history of this trade, sheep have not suffered through the furnace of a Middle Eastern summer
  • The biggest sheep exporter — Emanuel Exports, responsible for the suffering of millions of animals — is off the water
  • Tougher regulations have exporters questioning the commercial viability of the trade at any time of year
  • A review into the Department of Agriculture’s ability to properly regulate the industry was scathing and found evidence of cruelty has been dismissed, ignored and even at times undermined by the very officials charged with holding the live export industry to account.
    An historic bill to end live sheep export passed the Australian Senate and is now awaiting a vote in the parliament
  • The Australian Labor Party has committed to end live sheep exports if elected, which means an end to suffering of animals is in sight

4th April: Following the shocking revelations exposed by the ABC of the mass suffering and deaths of exported ‘dairy’ cows in Sri Lanka, Shadow Agriculture Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, pledges that a Labor government will close the ‘loophole’ that excludes dairy and breeding animals from ESCAS regulations.

21st March 2019: Despite promises to make science-based decisions, the Department of Agriculture ignores the science — and the evidence of animal suffering — to announce it will allow sheep shipments to the Middle East in the high-risk month of May. Read our response here.

9th January 2019: UPDATE | Where to next for the live export campaign in 2019?

4th December 2018: The live export industry has announced its own three-month ban on the sheep trade to the Middle East during the northern summer — but conceded it cannot guarantee against another mass death at sea.

31 October 2018: The independent Moss Review into the culture and capabilities of the Department of Agriculture has been released — and the findings are damning.

10th September 2018: The Australian Senate has passed a bill to phase out live sheep exports over a five-year period and stop trade to the Middle East during the hottest part of the year.

22nd August 2018: Emanuel Exports — the company at the centre of the horrific live exports scandal involving the deaths of thousands of sheep from heat stress at sea — has had its licence to export animals permanently cancelled by the Federal Department of Agriculture.

  • The Guardian: Live exports: government refuses to release video showing heat stress

  • The West Australian: Live export ‘several steps closer to the graveside’: media guru

  • The Sydney Morning Herald: Live export industry imposes summer ban in wake of backlash over animal deaths

  • The Age: Agriculture Minister orders urgent overhaul of own department’s handling of live export trade

  • The Age: Bill to ban live sheep exports trade passes the Senate

  • The Sydney Morning Herald: Rogue live exporter Emanuel Exports hit with permanent cancellation

  • The West Australian: Live sheep export row hits cattle ship that fails inspection leaving Fremantle

  • The Guardian: ‘This one has heat stress’: the shocking reality of live animal exports
  • 28th July: Super-Saturday by-elections see Labor win Braddon, Longman, Fremantle and Perth, and Rebekha Sharkie from Centre Alliance re-elected in Mayo. That’s five more MPs who will support an end to the live sheep trade! In fact, Ms Sharkie announced that a live sheep export ban is among her top priorities.

  • The Age: ‘Cowboy culture’: Department of Agriculture’s costly live export legal bungle

  • The Sydney Morning Herald: 60,000 sheep saved from ‘furnace’ after dramatic midnight intervention

  • The Sydney Morning Herald: Awassi Express exporters set to sail with sheep left stranded by suspension

  • The Conversation: Israel moves closer to phasing out Australian live sheep and cattle imports

  • ABC News: Australia’s largest live sheep exporter Emanuel Exports’ licence suspended