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ALEC Statement on Freedom of Information footage from 2018 released today

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) is aware that the Freedom of Information Commissioner has granted the RSPCA access to Independent Observer footage of a voyage that departed Fremantle in May 2018.

This footage was taken prior to the significant reforms undertaken by industry that we continue to be proud of.

Since then, the industry has changed. It no longer ships during the northern hemisphere summer; its stocking densities have been greatly reduced and exporters no longer use double-tier vessels like the one used in the footage.

The statement accompanying the footage from DAFF supports this by stating:

  • Since the introduction during 2018-2020 of new standards for the export of livestock to the Middle East, including the Northern Hemisphere summer prohibition period, average mortality rates for all voyages have reduced.
  • In the three-year periods prior to and following the implementation of these changes, average mortality rates have dropped from 0.71% to 0.18% for sheep, and 0.12% to 0.06% for cattle.

This an industry that has genuinely reformed and has the backing of the entire Australian agricultural sector.

Despite this reform, we have recently seen that the RSPCA, and aligned activist organisations like Animals Australia, that facts do not matter in the slightest. These groups have no hesitation in misrepresenting the industry that supports thousands of jobs and countless regional communities across Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It is our expectation that the only reason this footage has been sought for five years is to use it in a manner that supports their efforts to ban live exports, though they have utterly reformed.

It is disappointing the Albanese Government continues to be transfixed by the misleading information pushed by these organisations, as it persists with its devastating policy to ban live sheep exports.

If you see this footage in any campaign against our industry and it is not disclosed that it is old footage, you are being fed a lie. It’s as simple as that.

*The footage can be requested on the DAFF website here:


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