Efforts to re-export livestock on board a ship stranded off Australia’s coast have been blocked by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). The DAFF directed the exporter to return the consignment to Australia due to the worsening security situation in the Red Sea. An application for the re-export of livestock to Israel via the Cape of Good Hope has not been approved by the DAFF. The departmental regulator was unable to determine if the requirements of the Export Control Act 2020 and the importing country’s requirements relating to the livestock have been met. The DAFF confirmed that the livestock on the vessel are in good health and under veterinary care. There are no suspicions of exotic pests or diseases within the livestock. The next steps for the livestock are commercial decisions for the exporter to make, and the DAFF is ready to assess any future application submitted by the exporter.
Several hundred head of healthy cattle were successfully unloaded from the MV Bahijah at the request of the exporter. Department officials ensured that all biosecurity protocols were met and confirmed that the cattle appeared healthy and well. The cattle have been moved to appropriate premises for quarantine, and there are no animal welfare issues associated with the unloading. The unloaded cattle are being held under strict biosecurity controls at appropriate premises.
The MV Bahijah departed Fremantle with a mixed consignment of approximately 15,000 sheep and 2,500 cattle bound for Eilat, Israel. The consignment was approved by the DAFF and carried out by Bassam Dabbah, a non-member exporter of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC). The ALEC stated that using this situation to further the government’s proposed ban on live sheep exports would be cheap, callous, and cynical.
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