News & Events Livestock Welfare Matters What is the future of live exports? 18 March 2021 Live exporters face a jump in licence fees from $25,000 to over $100,000 by 2023-24, an eye-watering increase which has left many exporters angry. The increases are outlined in the Federal Government’s newly released Cost Recovery implementation statement: live animal exports 2020-21. The report states the increases are necessary given the rising costs to government in regulating the industry. These include funding an increase in the number of Federal Department of Agriculture staff, and the amount of resourcing the department directs to oversite and regulation. The increases have occurred over recent years, particularly since the Awassi Express controversy in 2018. The cost recovery announcement follows a reported falloff in trade to the Middle East, described as ‘concerning’ for WA sheep farmers in a Business News article last month. The report states total live sheep export volumes for 2020 came in at 811,511 head, which represented a 49 per cent decline in flows from the five-year average pattern. Meat and Livestock Australia has previously said, ‘Whilst the live trade has slowed, chilled carcase exports have grown substantially over the last decade, underpinned by evolving markets and operational capabilities.’ The RSPCA advocates for the further development and adoption of a chilled and frozen meat-only trade, in place of the live export trade. You can read about the RSPCA’s position on live export on the RSPCA Knowledgebase.