On 2nd July 2024, the Australian Senate passed legislation to phase out live exports of sheeps by sea. The Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Act 2024 prohibits exporting live sheep by sea from Australia from 1st May 2028, and creates a provision of $107 million to help the industry adjust to the change.

Dr Jed Goodfellow, Australian Alliance for Animals spokesperson, said to Mirage News, “This legislation has been a long time coming for our members and their two-million-plus supporters who have been calling for an end to this cruel and unnecessary trade for decades. The tireless campaigning by advocates, in particular, the groundbreaking investigations by Animals Australia, and the courageous efforts of whistleblowers who risked their careers and more to expose the conditions faced by Australian animals onboard live export vessels, have finally been acknowledged today. We thank the Albanese Government for following through with its election commitment and promise to the Australian people, and we thank all members of parliament who voted for compassion and stood on the right side of history today.”

On 11th May 2024, the Australian government said it would ban live sheep exports by sea from May 2028, as it had promised to phase out this cruel practice. However, the phase-out does not apply to other farmed animals, such as live cow exports, and does not apply either to live sheep exports by air, so this is not a complete ban on live animal exports as has been reported.

In the early 2000s, Australia’s live sheep trade transported by sea about 5 million sheeps a year, mostly from Western Australian farms, but the number gradually declined. In 2023, Australia exported 684,000 sheeps, worth about $50 million, mostly to the Middle East (a trip in which the animals are confined in ships for about two weeks). Kuwait, Israel and the United Arab Emirates were the main destinations.

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Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.