UPDATE: 6 February 2024 – Re-export rejected

Humane Society Internation (HSI) Australia is relieved that the application to re-export thousands of cattle and sheep aboard MV Bahijah was rejected after their original journey via the Red Sea was aborted. These animals have suffered considerably already, and an unconfirmed number have died.

Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns at HSI Australia said: “Thousands of animals should never have been sent into a conflict zone with such high risks to both the animals and crew.  The Department stopped sending the Independent Observers on board the ships on the 9th October knowing the risks were too high.  The animals should now be unloaded immediately and not be exported on any vessel in future. This incident is yet another example that demonstrates how the live export trade is utterly incompatible with good animal welfare. We look forward to Federal Minister Murray Watt announcing the Government’s plan to legislate the phase out of the live sheep trade”.


STATEMENT: 2 February 2024

Humane Society International (HSI) Australia calls on the Department of Agriculture to prioritise the welfare of thousands of sheep and cattle aboard the MV Bahijah live export ship. Originally destined for Jordan via the conflict zone in the Red Sea, the ship’s journey was aborted midway as the dangers escalated and the Government ordered its return. The animals have  now been on board the ship for 28 days  and they float in limbo amidst Perth’s sweltering temperatures as their next movements are contemplated.

The animals have already endured considerable stress for almost a month, contained in an unnatural and unfamiliar environment whilst standing in their own faeces. The Department of Agriculture is still considering an application that could see most, or all of them, re-exported. This means the animals could be made to endure another 30+ days at sea on a second journey to the Middle East. This would take a dramatically longer route around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa to bypass the conflict zone.

Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns at HSI Australia said: “This predictable animal welfare disaster should never have reached this point. It is imperative that the new application to re-export the animals is firmly rejected, and the animals are unloaded urgently and transferred to quarantine facilities. These animals have been through enough, and the Australian community do not want to see yet another catastrophe escalate.”

Reportedly, another ship named the MV Jawan has been loaded with yet more sheep and cattle during Perth’s heatwave yesterday, and recently departed Fremantle en-route to Jordan via the Red Sea. HSI Australia is astonished that another ship full of animals could gain approval and be sent towards the conflict zone. Australia’s live export industry claim they have some of the most rigorous standards in the world yet they are instead attracting world-wide media attention as another animal welfare tragedy unfolds.

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