Historic Break­through: Australia and UK Ban Live Animal Transport!

23 מאי 2024

A historic victory for animals, as the United Kingdom and Australia approved bans on the export of living animals! Animal rights activists from all around the world have been tirelessly fighting for decades against the cruel export of animals. The Dutch Party for the Animals wants to thank everyone who has participated in protests, spoken out, fought for this ban in the political arena, and helped bring the horrors of this industry to light.


The Australian ban will come into effect on May 1st, 2028, and entails live exportation of sheep by ship. The government installed a transition plan and support package of $107 million for farmers and the supply chain. In 2023 Australia exported 650,717 sheep [1]. Besides sheep, Australia exports 702,066 other animals - mainly cattle - which will also sadly still be allowed. The Party for the Animals will see to it that the EU does not take over the live export halted in Australia.

The Australian Animal Justice Party – the Party for the Animals’ sister party - has worked closely with the government to secure the ban. They contributed to building up political pressure to the point where live export is no longer accepted by the majority of Australians.

Animal Justice Party: “While we wish the phase-out will happen more quickly, our contributions to securing financial support and certainty around transition dates mean there is no turning back! However, we know the job is not yet complete.”

Great Britain and the EU

Just days after the announcement of the Australian ban, the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Act was accepted in the UK. The ban entails ‘cattle and other bovine animals, horses and other equine animals, sheep, goats, and pigs or wild boar’; over sea and by other means of transportation. The Animal Welfare Party UK has been fighting for this since 2006 and calls it an inspiration that compassion will win out in the end.

Post-Brexit agreements, however, exclude Northern Ireland from the ban, as they must comply with EU free trade rules. Germany and Luxembourg have also imposed restrictions on live export, not wanting animals to be exported to non-EU countries. This stresses the huge importance of an EU-wide ban.

Around 80% of global animal export is from (and often within) EU countries. Between 2007 and 2022 exports have tripled [2]. Though welfare regulations are in place, there is little to no enforcement. Trucks are too full, many animals don’t have food and water, and transport illegally happens in high temperatures. Besides, many animals are exported to countries with lower welfare standards.

Anja Hazekamp, MEP for the Dutch Party for the Animals, has visited ports and EU borders to witness the transports. Instead of fining the transportation companies for illegally driving animals around in a heatwave, she got fined by the police for checking the temperatures.


There seems to be momentum around the world to do something against the cruel transportation of animals. Last year a ban already came into force in New Zealand (Aotearoa) to end live exports for breeding. Export for slaughter was already banned in 2008. A Brazilian court also decided that the export shouldn’t be allowed.

May these amazing developments help inspire similar developments worldwide, so that no animal has to endure this cruelty!


[1] agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/export/controlled-goods/live-animals/live-animal-export-statistics

[2] agridata.ec.europa.eu/extensions/DashboardSTO/STO_Meat.html