Stranded livestock ship with animals on board denied permission to re-export to Israel

The Australian government gave an update concerning all the livestock on the vessel MV Bahijah which is reported that have been discharged and taken by truck from Fremantle Port to appropriate premises in Western Australia.

Since 5 January 2024, total mortalities stand at 4 (0.18%) cattle and 64 (0.45%) sheep on board the MV Bahijah, and 7 cattle and 6 sheep on land.

The next steps for the livestock are a commercial decision for the exporter, as it is said by the government.

Several hundred head of cattle were previously discharged from the vessel on 3 February 2024.

To remind, the MV Bahijah loaded cattle and sheep in Fremantle, Western Australia and departed for the Middle East on January 5, 2024. The vessel, however, diverted away from the Red Sea due to the worsening security situation.

On January 20 in order to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock on the MV Bahijah, the Australian department directed the exporter that the consignment be immediately returned to Australia.

In an update on January 31, the exporter provided supporting information to the department to support the application to unload some animals in Australia prior to re-exporting the remaining animals on board the vessel.

Two independent veterinarians visited the vessel at the same day on January 31 to inspect the livestock and facilities.

The exporter on February 2 requested permission to unload several hundred cattle from the MV Bahijah.

The department agreed for the animals to be unloaded under strict biosecurity measures.

On 5 February 2024, the department refused a Notice of Intention to export given by the exporter in relation to a consignment of sheep and cattle onboard MV Bahijah.