13,000 Live Sheep and Cattle Stranded on Australian Ship
5 January 2016 at 4:33 pm
Animal rights advocacy groups have said they are “extremely concerned” for the welfare of 13,000 live sheep and cattle stuck on a ship that has been stranded in Perth.
The MV Ocean Outback was set to leave the Fremantle dock on 29 December when one of its engines had a cylinder malfunction.
Repairs on the ship, which is destined for Israel, have since stalled and it now expected to remain in port until Thursday or Friday.
Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection, Nicola Beynon, said the situation was “another grim reminder of the risks and inherent cruelty involved with live export”.
“While industry may claim than animal welfare is not compromised by the situation, long distance transport for live animals always compromises animal welfare and delays like this naturally compound the risks,” Beynon said.
Beynon said sheep on board live export vessels faced four times the mortality rate for sheep on farms while cattle on live export ships experienced twice the mortality rate of cattle in feedlots.
The ship is owned by Wellard Live Exports, Australia’s largest cattle exporter.
A spokesperson for Wellard said the animals on the ship were being appropriately cared for and their welfare was one of several issues being considered.
"Wellard is presently investigating the best alternative that provides optimal outcomes for animal welfare, the vessel’s charterer and the company, and is in the process of working through a number of options with important stakeholders," the spokesperson said.
"When the preferred option is agreed and approved, Wellard can then assess the impact on its shipping schedules to determine any financial consequences.
"The livestock on board the vessel remain in good condition and the important livestock services (feed, water and ventilation) have not been impacted by the mechanical issue."