How the Australian dairy industry takes advantage of a live export loophole…

In an effort to ‘milk’ animals for every last dollar, the Australian dairy industry has found a way to profit from the cruel live export trade.


LAST UPDATED: 14 June 2017

Commercial dairying is cruel enough already, with forced separation and sorrow scarring the life of an Australian dairy cow. The dairy industry takes her calves, often to slaughter them as 'waste products'. The dairy industry takes her milk and sells it. And for some young cows, the dairy industry even takes away 'home'...

She's put on to a truck. The truck drives her to a port, with all its unfamiliar sounds and smells, and she's loaded onto a huge ship to be sent overseas. She's exposed to all the risks of live export — while pregnant.

Public outcry about the terrible abuse of Australian animals in overseas abattoirs forced reforms on the live export industry (known as ESCAS). But animals exported for breeding or dairy purposes — including cows, sheep, buffalo and goats — are excluded from even these most basic rules and protections.

The Australian dairy industry exports 90,000 Australian dairy cows live each year, for their milk and to build up overseas dairy herds. Most of these sensitive young animals are pregnant during the voyage. Denied even the basic protections that have been extended to animals exported for slaughter, these 'forgotten animals' are left utterly exposed to cruelty once they reach the importing country.

This can have devastating consequences, as it did for Australian dairy cows who perished of thirst and malnutrition on a property in Qatar — where thousands of Australian sheep had already died from heat stress and starvation. No one was ever held accountable for their agonising deaths.

WARNING: distressing images. Photos: RSPCA Australia.Photos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA AustraliaPhotos: RSPCA Australia
Australian dairy cows & calves exported to Qatar.

A 2013 government review stated that extending breeding animals even the minimal protection expected for animals exported for slaughter would 'outweigh the value of the trade'. In other words: a less-cruel trade wouldn’t be profitable.

The young cows who the Australian dairy industry chooses to export for breeding are forced to endure the same stressful, frightening journey as other exported animals. Tragically, they also face the grim prospect of inhumane treatment and brutal, often fully conscious slaughter.

Help dairy cows today!

  • Make the call for dairy cows: phone your Federal MP today and urge them to end the dairy live export 'loophole'.
  • Live export only makes dairy crueller. You can help create a bright future for cows and calves by joining the growing number of Aussies enjoying delicious dairy-free foods.


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