Investigation — Kuwait 2003

Animals Australia first conducted an investigation in the Middle East in 2003 in conjunction with Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

LAST UPDATED: 8 October 2019

The investigation was conducted shortly after the Cormo Express incident in which 57,000 Australian sheep were stranded at sea for 11 weeks after being rejected by Saudi Arabia. During their time at sea nearly 6000 animals died.

As a result of these concerns, and because there had never been an independent report on the condition of animals on arrival or handling and slaughter methods, Animals Australia's Communication Director Lyn White traveled to Kuwait where she met a UK-based investigator from CIWF. Over 8 days they documented the unloading, transport and slaughter of Australian sheep that had arrived on the livestock vessel MV Al Kuwait which had left 16 days earlier with approximately 103,000 sheep on board from Western Australia.

During the unloading of the vessel, investigators documented dead and dying sheep; sheep with broken limbs and animals with severe eye infections to the point of causing blindness.

Evidence documented formed the basis for a benchmark legal complaint that live animal export was breaching Section 19 (3) of the Western Australian Animal Welfare Act. This complaint nearly two years later has seen historic cruelty charges laid against the exporter involved.

Evidence documented during this investigation regarding the handling and slaughter that Australian animals endured formed the basis of a '60 Minutes' program 'End of the Line' which highlighted the suffering of Australian animals in Kuwait, including the manhandling of Australian sheep at the municipal abattoir and the celebratory slaughter of an Australian sheep at the opening of a jewellery shop.

Sheep handling in KuwaitRitual slaughter of Australian sheep

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