Rescued sheep at Edgar's Mission Sanctuary

Government announces live sheep export phase out date


Millions of Australian sheep will finally be safe from harrowing live export voyages as the Agriculture Minister announced the phase out date of this brutal trade.

Image credit: JoAnne McArthur / We Animals Media

Thanks to the unwavering support of animal lovers like you, Australia’s Agriculture Minister, Murray Watt, has announced that live sheep exports by sea will be phased out by 1 May 2028. 

For more than a decade, compassionate supporters like you have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the immense suffering of millions of sheep in the live export trade alongside animal welfare organisations including World Animal Protection. 

This great win for Aussie sheep wouldn’t have been possible without your strong support.


Here are just some of the many actions you took that helped ban live sheep exports in Australia: 

  • You signed petitions, wrote letters to members of Parliament and added your name to submissions along with many thousands of animal lovers
  • You moved politicians, academics, journalists and celebrities to be voices of influence calling for a phase out
  • You helped run advertisements in newspapers, shop fronts and on mobile billboards to let politicians know this issue matters to you
  • You added your name to our advertising truck that circled Parliament House and the Department of Agriculture to keep pressure on the government to act

Live export truck

  • You volunteered and attended peaceful protests to ban this barbaric trade
  • You helped funded research on economic alternatives to the cruel live export trade and polling to demonstrate the community wanted this ban
  • You partnered with the Body Shop to take a stand against live export cruelty
  • You sent postcards to politicians and helped us lobby in the halls of Parliament House.

Live export parliament


Many of our sheep lose their precious lives during these long, hot and overcrowded voyages of cruelty. Those who do survive these gruelling journeys are often roughly handled and brutally slaughtered in destination countries.

Live export

We welcome the transition plan of $107 million over 5 years for sheep producers but also call for additional investment in Australian-grown humane and sustainable plant-based protein options that will create economic growth and jobs.

While we would have liked the end date to be sooner, this is undoubtedly a historic day. With you by our side, we’ll continue to keep the pressure on the Government to ensure this transition prioritises the welfare of our sheep as the legislation moves through parliament.  

This is a good day for Australian sheep, and for all animals. It is another step towards recognizing that animals are sentient beings that deserve compassion and respect. The majority of Australians are opposed to this cruel trade and they will be pleased to know that the needless suffering of millions of Australian sheep will end.

Thank you for standing side by side with millions of Aussie sheep. Together, we’ll ensure the Government upholds their commitment to phase out live exports.

Broiler chicken

Our farm animal work

Every day, pigs, cows and chickens are crammed in together in unhealthy conditions, subjected to horrific cruelty and then slaughtered.

Calf at a dairy farm, Sri Lanka. Credit: Amy Jones / Moving Animals

Donate to protect animals

Factory farming traps farmed animals in an endless cycle of abuse and cruelty. This tragedy will only worsen as demand for meat grows globally.

More about