Credit: Edgar's Mission
Two sheep in a grassy field touch their heads together affectionately.

An end date in sight for the live sheep export industry.

In a move that will spare hundreds of thousands of sheep from suffering, the Australian Government has finally announced the end date to the cruel live export sheep.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated May 12, 2024

After decades of our investigations, exposes, and tireless political lobbying, the Albanese government has announced that live sheep export by sea will end from the 1st May 2028. And importantly, this date will be enshrined in law during this term of government.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt has announced the government will accept the recommendations of the Independent Panel and that the live sheep trade will end after some 60 long years.

While of course we wish it was sooner, we also recognise and respect the responsibility of the Government to consider all who are impacted by this historic decision.

Considering the decades of dedicated effort and advocacy, it is understandable that some doubted whether this trade would end in their lifetime. Now we know differently.

We can now count down towards the day that the last sheep shipment will leave our shores.

Aside from our great relief at this announcement, we are filled with overwhelming gratitude to our supporters- this day would not have come about without you.

You supported our investigations over two decades ago. You refused to get disheartened. You witnessed the suffering of these animals, and you remained steadfast in your promise to each and every victim of this cruel trade to never give up.

Together we have achieved something extraordinary. We have convinced the Australian government that animals deserve better and that a cruel industry that has long enjoyed political support should end.

Our deep appreciation today extends to our colleague groups and their exceptional efforts to ensure that the animal protection sector spoke for Australian sheep with a strong and united voice.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Lyn White at a live export rally with people holding up placards against live export
No words can adequately convey the depth of gratitude we have for every kind person who has ‘stayed the course’ with us over the past two decades, as we shone light on the suffering of sheep in the live export trade.

To witness together a government decision based on compassion a momentous day to long savour. But of course, our work is far from over.

This end date still needs to be enshrined in legislation, and an important part of the government’s announcement today was committing to do that during this parliamentary term.

Animals Australia remains steadfastly committed to monitoring this industry for as long as animals are subjected to it. And it’s highly likely that we will need to continue to call on our supporters for support at critical junctures in this campaign.

We know you won’t hesitate to respond.