PRESS RELEASE: Company responsible for shocking animal cruelty granted export licence



Today's decision to grant an export licence to RETWA, the Australian subsidiary of Kuwait Livestock and Trading (KLTT), demonstrates why the Department of Agriculture is not fit to regulate the live export trade. 

"This Kuwaiti company has been the powerhouse behind Emanuel Exports for decades. No other company is responsible for greater shipboard suffering," said Lyn White from Animals Australia.

KLTT was the consignee for all five voyages exposed on 60 Minutes this year and along with Emanuel Exports, had responsibility for the animals on board. Since 2004, KLTT has been responsible for nearly half of the shipments from Australia where over 1,000 sheep have perished.

RETWA was the last export company to lose their licence for a series of high mortality heat stress shipments. Between 2000 and 2002, RETWA was responsible for 25 high-mortality voyages, resulting in the suffering and deaths of thousands of sheep. 

"Their long history of involvement in mass mortality shipments and ESCAS breaches should have rendered them ineligible for an export licence."

"Farmers need to know that RETWA's licence approval does not represent a changing of the guard. It's just changing the names on paperwork."

"To replace one company suspended for high mortality heat stress shipments with another with a similar rap sheet, is recycling at its worst," said Ms White.



  1. KLTT/RETWA is a decades-long trading partner of Emanuel Exports. Graham Daws used to be a Director of RETWA.
  2. Since 2004 KLTT/RETWA has been responsible for nearly half of the shipments where over 1000 animals died (35 of the 71 shipments). KLTT was also the shipper of the 2016 Al Messilah heat stress disaster during which over 3,000 sheep died during August that year. Despite this (and their extensive knowledge of heat stress implications and risks) they purchased and packed similar numbers of sheep on the Awassi Express 12 months later resulting in 2,400 deaths.
  3. In 2003 RETWA lost their export licence after a series of high mortality shipments during which thousands of sheep perished from heat stroke. In particular, from 2000 to 2002, RETWA was responsible for twenty-five high-mortality voyages.
  4. Records show that since 1980, over 1.5 million sheep have died on board KLTT shipments.
  5. Before ESCAS was implemented in 2012, Animals Australia had been supplying the Department with extensive evidence showing serious animal welfare and cruelty issues taking place in Kuwait in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010. The evidence had been gathered from the Shuwaikh abattoir and the notorious Al Rai livestock market — KLTT was (and continues to be) the importer/supplier/distributor of Australian sheep in Kuwait — where sheep will be slaughtered while fully conscious
  6. KLTT is implicated in numerous ESCAS breaches in Kuwait where they have been the importer/supplier/distributer of Australian sheep.
  7. In the 2006 'Al Kuwait' case in which WA Magistrate Catherine Crawford found cruelty to animals in breach of the WA Animal Welfare Act, but determined an inability to convict due to conflicting legislation between the Commonwealth and State — Emanuel Exports argued that KLTT was in effective control of the animals on board their ships and thus was responsible for the associated conditions.
  8. Emanuel Exports is currently under investigation in WA for breaches of the WA animal protection act. This investigation will implicate KLTT as they officially owned the sheep at the time the offences allegedly took place.

Media contact: Lisa Chalk |


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