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4,100 have their say on phase-out of live sheep export by sea

MV Bahijah livestock export to the Middle East

The Australian Government is closely monitoring the passage of a live export vessel that was destined for the Middle East but which has diverted from the Red Sea.

The health and welfare of the animals onboard remains a top priority.

The MV Bahijah loaded cattle and sheep in Fremantle, Western Australia and departed for the Middle East on 5 January 2024.

At the time of departure on 5 January, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry was satisfied that the arrangements for the transport of the livestock were appropriate to ensure their health and welfare.

As a condition of departure, the exporter was required to lodge contingency arrangements should the vessel not be able to reach the proposed destination in the Middle East.

The exporter also loaded additional fodder and veterinary supplies above those required by Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock for the proposed voyage.

A registered veterinarian and an accredited stockperson are on board the vessel, accompanying the consignment to attend to the health and welfare of the livestock.

Under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and the International Safety Management Code, the Master of the vessel has overriding authority and responsibility to make decisions with respect to the safety of the vessel.

The vessel has diverted away from the Red Sea due to the worsening security situation.

A range of contingency options remain open to the exporter, which will be reviewed by the department as they are submitted.

The department is monitoring the consignment closely and no significant animal health or welfare concerns have been reported at this time.

The department will continue to consider future consignments on a case by case basis.

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