The legislation to phase out live sheep exports by sea from Australia by 1 May 2028 has passed in the Australian Parliament with a majority vote in the Senate. This is historic progress for animal welfare in Australia and will help safeguard the welfare of millions of Australian sheep for years to come. 

The Albanese Government committed to phase-out live sheep exports by sea at successive federal elections. On forming government an expert panel was established and after consulting widely, their report advised the Government to phase out the trade over four years with financial assistance. The legislation passed last night gives effect to the panel’s recommendations. 

Quotes attributable to Ms Georgie Dolphin, Animal Welfare Campaigner at HSI Australia: 

“HSI Australia joins millions of Australians in welcoming this historic win for animals. We thank the Albanese Government for enacting the views of most Australians who oppose the routine mistreatment of so many animals on board live export ships. The extent of the suffering caused by the live sheep export trade has been inexcusable. Transporting sheep by sea fails the most basic principles of animal welfare. It is an industry out of step with modern animal welfare science which must end. 

“The UK Parliament recently banned live animal exports overnight with no support package, and New Zealand phased it out over two years with no financial support. In Australia, the Albanese Government is providing a generous $107 million funding package for those impacted to assist with a transition that increases domestic processing of lamb meat for export. 

“HSI Australia has campaigned for an end to live sheep exports for decades. Although we would have liked to see an end to the trade immediately, we understand the need for a transition period and are relieved that a date has been set to phase it out in 2028.  This news marks a long-awaited milestone that will be celebrated across Australia and once the prohibition on live sheep exports by sea is in force it will prevent immeasurable suffering.” 

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