Research Report

Live exports and the Australian community 2019-2021


The Australian live export industry operates in a complex social and political context. It is often discussed with reference to single issues, without regard for the larger role of the industry in Australia or the multiple ways in which it may be perceived to deliver benefits to the country.

In 2019, the industry embarked on a multi-year program of research to understand community views in new ways, and to engage with and respond to the community.

This report details findings from the second national survey of community sentiment toward the live export industry in this program of work, providing an update to and comparison with data collected in 2019-20.


This project aims to use Voconiq’s social insights framework to survey around 5,000 Australians each year, to assess community sentiment toward the livestock export industry.

Key findings
  • 77% of Australians believe the live export industry makes an important economic contribution to Australia (up 5% from 2019)

  • 33% agree or strongly agree that "the live export industry bothers me a lot" (down 6%)

  • 35% believe the live export industry is prepared to change its practices in response to community concern (static)

  • On a stylised map of the supply chain, the voyage and processing overseas were chosen most often by those choosing an area of greatest concern

  • 72% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that “animal welfare in the live export industry is a complex issue”

  • 62% of Australians believe the live export of animals to overseas markets supports the improvement of diet and nutrition of people in those countries (up 7%)

  • 65% agreed or strongly agreed that “exporting breeding stock to overseas countries helps them to ensure their own food security"

Benefits to industry

This project will ensure politicians, livestock exporters and others have a factual basis for understanding what the community thinks about livestock exports, based on a representative survey of Australians.

It also highlights the key issues of concern, providing guidance for industry management practices, research efforts and communication strategies.

Live exports and the Australian community 2019-2021
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