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The issue

While we’re drowning in bureaucratic reviews, Australian sheep remain all out at sea.

It’s been over a year since the shocking conditions onboard live sheep export journeys to the Middle East were revealed on 60 Minutes in April 2018.

Since then, the Department of Agriculture has swamped the issue in reviews, while it delays taking any real action to end the suffering of live-exported Aussie sheep.

The science and evidence is clear: as long as May to October journeys continue, sheep will continue to suffer and die.

Now, after seven bureaucratic processes and reviews in the past 18 months, the Department has released yet another paper, now proposing four options for regulating heat stress on live sheep journeys to the Middle East from 2020 onwards.

Not one of these proposed options will adequately protect sheep from heat stress.

In fact, two options would see the current ban on journeys during the high risk June–September period overturned.

We’ve seen this before – when Australians show they won’t stand for our animals to suffer, the Government tries to hose down our outrage with extensive delays and layers of bureaucracy.

But we won’t let this pass unchallenged.

What needs to change

Australian sheep in live export are facing another year of horrendous suffering, if the Government’s proposed backslide in regulation of heat stress goes unchallenged.

We need you to take action now.

The RSPCA will call for Aussie sheep to be protected by two measures, for as long as this cruel trade continues:

  1. There must continue to be a ban on exports during the highest risk period for heat stress, which should be extended to May to October, in accordance with the scientific evidence.
  2. The new Heat Stress Risk Assessment model recommended by the Government’s own expert panel, must be applied throughout the year.

Our submission will be even more powerful if you add your voice to it by taking action below.

If you want to make an even bigger impact, please take time to make a detailed submission of your own – see below for everything you need to know to do that.


Submissions to the Department of Agriculture are now closed. RSPCA Australia made a formal submission on the 4th of November, including all supplementary submissions received from supporters.

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