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About Live Animal Exports

Four Corners - The Shocking Truth behind the Live Export Industry

If you were shocked, along with the rest of Australia, by the senseless and brutal massacre of healthy sheep in Pakistan, this is the time to get involved.  We have outlined some easy things you can do. Our Campaign Manager is standing by to help, so please feel free to contact Katrina on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1. Contact the Prime Minister

Let Julia Gillard know that you think this treatment of Australian animals is completely unacceptable and you want to see this government visibly work toward an end date to live animal exports.  The most powerful way to be heard is an individually written letter.  Please feel free to ask for help with this.  The PM's contact details are:

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House

2. Contact your Federal and State MP

Please also contact your State and Federal MP!

If you live in WA, contact your State MP.  You can find a listing of MP contact details here.

You can find a listing of Federal MP contact details here

To avoid a standard response to your letter that is generated by a computer, be sure to ask specific questions. Questions could include asking about Government spending on live exports, how they could possibly trust anything the industry says and what is being done about local jobs.  Please ask us for help.

3. Social Media

Please use Twitter (#BanLiveExport) and Facebook to get the message out there to all your friends and family.

4. Dedicated Animals Australia and WSPA Website

Check out the dedicated website put together by Animals Australia here

And join WSPA's Humane Chain here.

5. Stay in Touch

Join up to our newsletter (we only send 1-2 per month about how to help, events and heaps more) by clicking here or stay in touch via Facebook. You can also unsubscribe at any time.

6. Join Us

You can help keep the campaign alive in WA by becoming a member of Stop Live Exports, a grass-roots group that has been campaigning for an end to this trade since 1995. We have a huge volunteer base that is getting the message out to the community, media and politicians. Click here to join from as little as $5 per month.

A good strong membership sends an excellent message to decision makers.


If you missed Four Corners' ANOTHER BLOODY BUSINESS, you can watch it online here.

Animal Cruelty Laws

Live exporters are obliged to comply with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), administered by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). ASEL only governs the condition of animals fit for loading and does not cover animal cruelty.

AQIS's only assessment of animal welfare is to briefly glance at animals as they are running up the loading ramp onto the ship. Our observation is that AQIS frequently fails to spot blind, lame or injured animals.

Live exporters are also bound by the Animal Welfare Acts in each state. The Animal Welfare Act in WA is administered by the Department for Local Government.  Despite a concerted campaign by Stop Live Exports and other animal welfare groups across Australia, this Department has failed to provide adequate funding for the monitoring of animal welfare in WA. Due to a lack of funding by the WA State Government, livestock facilities in WA are seldom inspected.

Click here to take action on WA Animal Welfare Unit under funding

Monitoring of animal cruelty at the port is often left to animal welfare groups or concerned individuals. What's going on at Freemantle port.

However, most cruelty in live export occurs out at sea where perpetrators are beyond the jurisdictional reach of the state governments.

Click here to download the Australian Standards for Export of Livestock

Click here to download the WA State Animal Welfare Act

Click here to download the West Australian Codes in relation to Sheep, Cattle and Goats

Despite a concerted campaign by Stop Live Exports and other animal welfare groups across Australia, this Department has failed to provide adequate funding for the monitoring of animal welfare in WA

Live exports hurt the economy and jobs in rural and regional areas.

The latest report by respected animal rights organisation, WSPA and complied by economic analysts, ACIL Tasman, shows the economic benefits of the chilled meat trade far outweigh the Live Export trade.

To read the report summary,ACIL_2012_Report_Summary-1.pdf (WSPA  Australian Live Sheep Exports)
To read the report   Live_cattle_exports_in_the_north_of_Australia_ACIL_Tasman.pdf

The Australian Meat Workers Union estimates that 70 abattoir closures and the loss of up to 12,000 jobs are directly attributable to the live export trade.

The closure of abattoirs has occurred due to inadequate supplies of sheep and cattle, competition for animals with the live export industry buyers and thus higher prices, which make local slaughter uncompetitive.

Local abattoir closures do not only affect individual abattoir workers. The loss of employment created by a major industry, with the resultant departure of families forced to leave to seek employment elsewhere - affects the viability of all local businesses in small rural and regional towns.

Some producers, particularly some large cattle producers in the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia, have deliberately geared themselves to produce animals specifically for the live export market. By restructuring to cater for the live export market, they have stopped supplying animals to local abattoirs and caused the abattoirs to shut down.

Recently, Indonesian authorities declared they would not accept cattle over 350kgs. These weight restrictions severely affected cattle producers, who had to truck cattle at considerable expense to other areas for processing.

The West Australian Government is now looking into the feasibility of a processing facility in the North of WA.

Open Letter to Western Australian Farmers

Stop Live Exports is a group based in Fremantle, that is committed to a phase out of live animal exports. We reflect the growing community concerns surrounding the trade, based on the undeniable evidence that live export severely compromises animal welfare and also has negative impacts on our economy and employment in rural areas.

Stop Live Exports acknowledge that there have been considerable pressures on the farming community in WA in recent years, including severe drought and economic challenges.

We do not seek to create a city-rural divide by lobbying for a phase out of this trade, or wish to place additional pressure on farmers.  Instead we seek a collaborative approach and a well thought out and workable strategy to ensure that farmers are ready when public pressure finally dictates that politicians must act to phase out live exports.

The latest report, commissioned by WSPA 2012 and written by respected economic analysts, ACIL Tasman, proposes a market driven re-balancing of the live animal and meat export trades, to be achieved by joint government and industry initiatives.

You can read the report or a report summary via these links:



The report identifies the basis of a solution that offers economic and financial benefits - including added certainty of income - both at farm level and nationally. It also positively impacts the welfare of Australian animals used for human consumption.

We understand that this report has received some negative feedback from the farming sector, and we welcome all constructive comments and feedback by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We know that the live export industry has undertaken an extensive marketing campaign that seeks to assuage farmers concerns regarding the live export process, but evidence of ongoing abuse and cruelty in both transport, handling and slaughter strongly suggests that the industry cannot control all aspects nor guarantee good welfare.

We believe that most farmers do care about the handling of their animals and we ask that farmers review footage taken by animal advocacy groups and make their own decision and what is acceptable treatment.

The most recent footage can be viewed by going to the following link:

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