Australian sheep sold and killed outside 'approved supply chains'

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 11 February 2013

Sheep suffer as live export breaches continue in Kuwait.

An Animals Australia investigation again found Australian sheep being illegally sold in a cruel livestock market in Kuwait, despite Animals Australia first notifying Australian authorities of breaches at this market some five months earlier.

Under the new live export rules, exporters must ensure that animals remain within approved supply chains. New evidence from Animals Australia revealed that months after our initial complaint, Australian sheep continued to be sold and brutally slaughtered at the notorious Al Rai livestock market, in Kuwait. Animals at this marketplace are known to have theiréélegs bound together, be stuffed into car boots, dragged over concrete slabs, and have their throats cut while fully conscious.

This footage taken in August 2012 sparked Animals Australia’s original complaint to the Department of Agriculture:


In January 2013, an investigator returned to the Al Rai market and found even more Australian sheep being offered for sale by at least 11 separate merchants. Many admitted knowing that they shouldn’t have Australian sheep and ear tags had been ripped out or removed despite the fact that Australian sheep are clearly distinguishable from local sheep in the region. All of the merchants at the market offered slaughter onsite as an ‘after sales’ service.

The Al Rai market in Kuwait City is notorious for cruelty. Animals Australia has conducted a number of investigations there, each time documenting the brutal handling, transport and slaughter of Australian sheep. Preventing Australian sheep from being sold in such circumstances was a cornerstone of why the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System was implemented. Yet nearly one year after ESCAS came into effect in Kuwait, rules continue to be breached and animals continue to suffer.

Al Rai market was already the obvious place in the Middle East for exporters to monitor — the fact they have not done so, even after breaches were discovered, shows how little they care and their willingness to thumb their nose at government regulations. If exporters are not prepared to follow the rules they should have their export licence removed.

UPDATE May 2013
Government investigation finds exporters breached rules »

UPDATE January 2014
Second government investigation concludes risk to animals cannot be eliminated »


Ending live export

For as long as this cruel trade in living beings exists — we remain as committed as ever to sparing animals from falling victim to it. Will you join us?

Please spare 1 minute now to lend your voice to the animals — and help create a world free from the horror of live export.

Take action now »