Lyn White on a live sheep export investigation in Kuwait in 2010

An end to live sheep export is almost here… You can help us bring this day closer.

By Lyn White AM

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated November 22, 2023

The first time I sat on a plane to Kuwait more than 20 years ago, I knew I was stepping into the great unknown.

I was on my way to conduct Animals Australia’s first-ever live export investigation and I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that someone needed to go.

Not long out of my policing career, I was keenly aware of the stark difference between policing and what I was about to embark upon. There would be no backup I could call. No safety net.

Reflecting on this moment now, some 20 years later, a quote comes to mind:

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Two sheep lay on the dirt side by sound, one's legs is over the other, almost like they are seeking comfort from one another.

As I stood on the port in Kuwait watching sick and blind sheep disembarking a gigantic, rusted old car-carrier-turned-live export ship, I didn’t think it could get worse. I would soon discover, it could.

What shocked me most during those first investigations was the treatment Australian exporters were willing to supply Australian sheep to. I was horrified to witness sheep being tied to roof racks and stuffed into car boots in suffocating heat – only to then face the terror and pain of fully conscious slaughter.

This was the fate of sheep who survived the dreadful conditions on live export ships, and Australian export companies knew all along.

It was up to Animals Australia – supported by thousands of compassionate individuals – to be the truth-tellers about this trade. And it’s a role, through necessity, that we have embraced.

It shouldn’t be left to a charity to police wealthy export companies. And it shouldn’t be up to members of the community to fund these efforts. But without us – without you – the victims of this industry would have nobody looking out for them. 


Since our investigations began, the number of sheep subjected to live export has dropped from six million to less than 500,000 annually. And now, the Albanese government has committed to phase out the trade.

The end to live sheep export is finally in sight.

Until that day, we still have work to do. We know that during any phase-out period, our ability to monitor the trade remains the greatest hope sheep have of being spared the worst suffering endemic to live export.

That’s why we – and they – need your help to see this through.

Help end live sheep export

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A sheep peering out of the bars of a truck.