Help make live export ban a priority.

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Urge the PM to end sheep export now.

20 years after Animals Australia's first investigation into the cruelty of the live sheep trade - the Albanese government has committed to bring it to an end. But the longer it takes for the phase out to begin, the longer sheep will suffer. Urge the parliament to prioritise this important election commitment.

A sheep looking towards camera

Urge the PM to end sheep export now.

20 years after Animals Australia's first investigation into the cruelty of the live sheep trade - the Albanese government has committed to bring it to an end. But the longer it takes for the phase out to begin, the longer sheep will suffer. Urge the parliament to prioritise this important election commitment.

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Thank you for wanting to protect animals from cruelty! This action is for residents of Australia in Labor Party and Independent electorates, but you can use this link to send an email to your state’s Labor Senators.

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Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 26 September 2022

A trade built on cruelty.

It has never made sense – logical or ethical – to send animals on risky sea voyages half way around the world just to be killed for their meat when they arrive at their destination. In fact it was back in 1985 that an Australian government committee concluded that on animal welfare grounds alone, live export should end.

But the industry’s greatest strength, and the very thing that leaves animals so vulnerable, has been that its activities occur far out of sight of caring Australians – on the open ocean and in countries thousands of kilometres away.

Animals Australia’s first live export investigation in 2003 lifted the lid on this veil of secrecy and exposed the suffering endemic to this trade. It would take dozens more  investigations, multiple major media exposés and a shipping catastrophe that rocked the nation, before an Australian government would heed the recommendation proffered nearly four decades ago.

The ALP weighed up the political benefits of ending a trade that all politicians knew was built on an acceptance of suffering.  It helped the ALP get elected. And received significant support from the expanded cross-bench. Now it’s time to urge the Albanese government to implement its promised phase-out of live sheep exports as soon as possible.

Evidence too disturbing to be ignored.

Under very little scrutiny, Australia’s live export industry operated for years behind a PR shield of ‘influencing better animal welfare standards’ globally. In reality, Australia had entrenched cruel practices by continuing to supply animals regardless of how they were being treated.

Animals Australia’s investigations revealed sheep and cattle routinely subjected to cruel and rough handling and brutal slaughter practices. It was common for sheep to be transported on roof racks or in car boots in sweltering temperatures.

In 2011, in response to public outrage at our evidence of the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia, the live export industry was finally brought under a tighter regulatory regime. Live export companies would be legally responsible for animals right up until the point of slaughter and they could only use audited and approved supply chains.

But the cruelty continued …

While the new rules set stricter standards for how animals could be treated, they still allowed them to be subjected to the pain and terror of fully conscious slaughter. And it was largely still up to us – a charity – to monitor and police the industry.  Animals Australia has lodged nearly 80 complaints exposing export companies breaching their legal responsibility to animals.

Then a tipping point …

The suffering of animals in importing countries had become well known. But there was still little visibility on what was happening on live export ships. This would all change in 2018 thanks to a brave whistle-blower whose evidence taken across five routine voyages would shock and appall the nation – and signal the beginning of the end of the live sheep export trade.

The promise of change.

Footage from the Awassi Express showing sheep stuck in melted hot faeces, suffering extreme heat stress and literally ‘cooking alive’ at sea sparked a fierce public and political backlash – renewing calls to end live export.

Such horrific suffering was well-known to industry and government regulators as it had been comprehensively documented in end-of-voyage reports over decades. But a picture speaks a thousand words and finally, the reality of long distance transport by sea was understood.

The then Coalition government introduced new laws prohibiting the export of sheep to the Middle East during the Northern summer – a time of heightened risk for heat stress. Labor went a step further and promised to phase out the entire live sheep trade if elected to govern.

Speak up for sheep now!

Please use the form below to urge your Federal MP to ensure the Albanese government follows through with its commitment and introduces legislation to phase out the live sheep export trade. We must ensure a phase out begins in this term of government.

TAKE ACTION

Urge Federal Labor to keep their promise to end live sheep export

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Animals Australia
Please use this form to write a message to your Federal MP. Reiterate your support for an end to the live sheep export trade and that Australians expect a phase out to begin as soon as possible. [If your MP is on the cross-bench, please ask them to urge the Albanese government to progress this important election commitment for animals].

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Thank you for wanting to protect animals from cruelty! This action is for residents of Australia in Labor Party and Independent electorates, but you can use this link to send an email to your state’s Labor Senators.

By completing this action, you give permission for Animals Australia to contact you. You can unsubscribe from updates at any time.

Loading...


Your details are safe, refer to our privacy policy

Please use the template letter below or feel free to write your own.

Your representative is:

Your Federal MP,
Dear Member of Parliament,
Regards
.

Validating...


You’re almost ready to help make a difference!

To maximise the impact of your letter, you should send it from your own email account.

    1. Click "Prepare my message now" below.
    2. You will be redirected to your personal email program, where a new email draft will be pre-populated.
    3. You will have the opportunity to edit the email and personalise it to give it more impact if you wish. Otherwise, just press "SEND" through your email program.

That’s it! With those simple steps, you can ensure your voice is heard in the call for valuable, meaningful change. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s call for kindness, now.

You’re ready to take action!

Ready to help us make important, meaningful change? Send your message now and add your voice to the call for kindness.

Processing...


Thank you !

Your name has been added to the other taking action against animal cruelty.
Help us spread the word and encourage others to sign the petition to end animal cruelty by sharing it on social media.

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What about the live export of other animals?

Some of the worst cruelty we’ve documented has been inflicted on exported Australian cattle. When Animals Australia first began investigating the live export trade, the tendon slashing and eye stabbing of our cattle in Egypt was the routine method of disabling animals prior to slaughter.

In 2011, we exposed the brutal treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia, with much of the suffering occurring through the use of slaughter-boxes installed by our own live export industry.  It was this investigation that sparked the new regulatory regime and rapid uptake of preslaughter stunning for animals exported to the region.

But even since then we’ve documented the sledgehammering of cattle in Vietnam, the live-hoisting of cattle in Israel and the roping slaughter of cattle in Mauritius and Malaysia. Live export vets have also spoken of the suffering of cattle during lengthy sea voyages.

And we’ve  conducted more than a dozen investigations into the treatment of exported cattle from other countries including Brazil, Romania and Germany – with our evidence supporting the efforts of colleague groups to end live export from their countries.

The live export of all animals is unnacceptably cruel and must end.

This is and has always been our position and focus. But the political opportunity we have immediately before us is to end live export for sheep. And we must take it. Millions of these gentle animals have suffered at the hands of wealthy live export companies and we are so close to the day that not one more sheep will set foot on a live export ship. Please help us get there.

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