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The issue

Sheep who are exported live across the equator to the Middle East suffer from predictable and unavoidable heat stress during the highest risk period of May to October.

Independent whistle-blower footage captured on five journeys in 2017 showed Australian sheep suffering and dying on horrific conditions, surrounded by filth and waste. You can watch the story here, but please be warned - it’s very distressing

Since then, the government has undertaken multiple reviews and placed a pause on live sheep export from June to the middle of September, but this is not good enough.

There’s been enough talk and too many delays – the evidence remains clear. It’s time to protect the welfare of Australian sheep and move toward phasing out this cruel trade for good

What needs to change

The export of live animals for slaughter is inherently high-risk, with decades of repeated evidence of suffering and cruelty. The RSPCA believes live animal export should be phased out in favour of an increased trade in boxed and chilled meat from animals that have been humanely slaughtered here in Australia.

For as long as live sheep export continue, as a priority, the prohibition on journeys to the Middle East must extend to protect animals from the highest risk period, from May to October

Most recently, we’ve provided advice to the review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), and the Heat Stress Risk Assessment review for live sheep journeys and are working with the Australian Government to ensure the recommendations from these reviews are implemented as soon as possible.

In the meantime we’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress of these reviews, and on how you can take action to protect Aussie sheep. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our newsletter to receive updates.