Breaking News in Australia: The Ban on Live Export of Sheep is Adopted!

🎉 Huge Congrats to WAJ Expert Roslyn Wells and Thank You Animals Australia!

World Animal Justice (WAJ) is thrilled to announce a historic victory for animals: Australia has decided to ban live exports of sheep by 1 May 2028. This landmark legislation represents a significant step forward in ending the cruel live sheep trade from Australia, a goal that countless activists and animal welfare organizations have worked tirelessly to achieve.

The Road to Victory 

This monumental decision follows years of relentless campaigning by animal welfare organizations. Polls have consistently shown that the majority of Australian citizens support ending the inhumane live export trade. The legislation will be introduced during the current term of the Australian Parliament, marking a decisive end to this practice in law.

Leadership and Activism

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to WAJ expert Roslyn Wells for her leading role in this success. As the Director of Public Affairs for the Animal Justice Party (AJP) in Australia from 2022 to 2024, Roslyn Wells has been instrumental in advocating for this change. Her dedication and hard work have been crucial in bringing this issue to the forefront of public and political attention.

Support from Animals Australia

A special thanks and conrats goes out to Animals Australia for their courageous investigations and unwavering commitment to exposing the brutal realities of the live sheep trade. Their efforts have been vital in raising awareness and building public support for this ban.

The Economics of Change

The live sheep export industry has been in long-term economic decline, now accounting for only 0.1% of Australia’s agricultural exports. In contrast, the trade in chilled sheep meat has seen substantial growth, with its value now 58 times greater than that of live exports. Sales of chilled Australian sheep meat to the Middle East alone represent $632 million, compared to just $77 million from live sheep exports.

The Cruel Reality

Investigations over the years have repeatedly highlighted the stressful, dirty, and overcrowded conditions that sheep endure during long sea journeys from Australia. These voyages often span distances of 9,000 to 12,000 kilometers and can take 15 to 30 days. During this time, sheep are subjected to severe heat stress, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions, leading to significant suffering and high mortality rates. The tragic 2017 Awassi Express disaster, where around 2,400 sheep died from heat stress while traveling between Australia and the Middle East, is a stark example of these issues. Live exports subject animals to thousands of kilometers of terrible conditions, with huge losses of animals dying along the way. Those that survive arrive weak and terrified, only to face brutal slaughter conditions.

Saving Lives

With around 1 million sheep exported from Australia annually, this ban will save the lives of approximately 1 million sheep per year. This significant reduction in animal suffering marks a major milestone in animal welfare.

A Global Perspective

This great news from Australia follows the UK’s ban on live exports, adopted on 20 May 2024, under the landmark Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Act. Despite these strides, live exports remain a global issue. The conditions animals endure are comparable to wartime deportations or crimes against humanity, but here it is a crime against animality involving billions of animals annually. This highway to hell for animals should be banned worldwide, not just in two countries. For instance, France continues to export one billion live animals per year. When will it stop?

Looking Ahead

While this decision marks a significant victory, it is important to note that the end date for live sheep exports is not until May 2028. Over the next four years, many more shipments of suffering sheep will be sent to slaughter in the Middle East. The government has introduced a four-year phase-out plan and a $107 million support package to facilitate the transition.


This ban on live sheep exports is a testament to the power of activism and the importance of standing up for animal welfare. World Animal Justice celebrates this achievement and remains committed to ensuring the humane treatment of all animals. Thank you to everyone who has supported this cause, and we look forward to a future where all animals are treated with the respect and compassion they deserve. 

Together, we can make legal progress for animals !

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