Australians support a legislated end date for the live sheep export trade

A Parliamentary e-petition that called for a legislated end date to live sheep export, and that was initiated by the RSPCA, has received almost 44,000 signatures, making it the fifth largest e-petition in the 47th Parliament.

Richard Mussell, RSPCA Australia’s CEO said the petition showed there was overwhelming community support for the phase out of live sheep export particularly since the petition was only open for a four-week period in August.

“It builds on recent surveys showing 78 per cent of Australians would support a phase out if farmers were supported through the transition. Given there are clear signs of strong political will from this government, and its continued commitment to improve animal welfare, the next step is to legislate the end date in the current parliamentary term so there can be certainty for farmers, and the community’s expectations are met,” he said.

In its May submission to the independent panel the RSPCA made 17 recommendations. This included legislation being passed in the current parliamentary term that would see an end to Australia’s live sheep export trade. The submission also recommended a short-term phase out period of no longer than three years from the passage of legislation to avoid adverse animal welfare outcomes from a longer-term phase out.

The independent panel is due to lodge its final report and recommendations to the federal government by 30 September. 

Anne Layton-Bennett

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