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Fears for 15,000 animals stranded on MV Bahijah grow as Department of Agriculture considers re-export

Australian Alliance for Animals Media Release

The Australian Alliance for Animals is calling for common sense to prevail as the Department of Agriculture considers an application to re-export thousands of Australian sheep and cattle stranded on the MV Bahijah currently anchored off the Port of Fremantle.

The vessel departed Australian waters for Jordan on 5 January 2024 but was ordered to abort the voyage and return to Fremantle amid escalating conflict in the Red Sea.

The Department of Agriculture issued a statement today advising that it was assessing an application to re-export the 15,000 sheep and cattle as a priority.

The new voyage would be expected to avoid the conflict zone by circumnavigating the African continent to access Jordan via the Suez Canal with an expected journey time of over 33 days.

Alliance for Animals Policy Director Dr Jed Goodfellow said the statement was alarming and called for common sense and decency to prevail.

“These animals have already endured 27 days at sea – that’s almost a month of standing and lying in their own faeces, weathering heat and humidity in tight quarters, and enduring the multitude of additional environmental stressors inherent to the live export process.

“The cumulative stress these animals have faced, and will face should they be re-exported, would be unbearable.

“The fact the Department is even considering this application is shocking – they haven’t even obtained an independent veterinary assessment of the animals’ health and welfare.

“It would be the height of recklessness to subject these animals to another gruelling 33 days at sea under these circumstances.

“The Department already made a serious error of judgement in approving the shipment to set sail in the first place, knowing of the risks posed by Houthi Rebel attacks in the Red Sea as far back as November.

“It shouldn’t make a bad decision worse, by re-approving this shipment to set sail again.

“We have learnt from decades of experience that live exporters will take whatever risks they can get away with.

“It’s incumbent on the Government to ensure animal welfare is put first for a change – the Australian community will be expecting nothing less.

“Rejecting this application and ordering all animals to be unloaded is the only reasonable decision to make in these circumstances.”


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  1. Mr Shevill Mathers

    It is long overdue to stop this cruel process, all about money, greed and profit. Pandering to people who have no feelings whatsoever for how those animals suffer, just to satisfy some outdated beliefs. If overseas cultures are so desparate for our meat, let us do what has to be done humanely in Australia, and export as quality frozen produce. Take it or leave it- on our terms.

  2. Roswell

    This is wrong. So wrong.

  3. Pingback: Fears for 15,000 animals stranded on MV Bahijah grow as Department of Agriculture considers re-export - independent news and commentary Australia

  4. K

    At least it’s getting some (local) publicity. How far off the coast is it moored? I’m hoping it’s near international waters…. Maritime law is a fickle beast.

    Also, who approved the export on 5 January 2024? I mean, the whole Red Sea thing was in a memo months ago, did someone miss it?

    Silver lining for some, not so much for the poor animals on board.

    Absolutely we should ban live exports.

  5. LambsFry Simplex.

    It is astounding in its medieval cruelty and arrogance of a mind seeking it- an animal version of Gaza.

    Mr Shevill Mathers pretty much nailed it perfectly. No more of these creatures, sometimes with broken legs or trapped in barriers, living in their own shit.

  6. Randy the farmer

    Long trip for the animals. They cheated the abattoir and a cruel death, a sign from God. So land and release them.
    And no excuses about they might be diseased with some exotic virus. They have been at sea for goodness sake.
    Free the cattle, free the sheep, it’s not that difficult ffs.
    Agree with Shevil, value-add the meat here, foreign buyers can take it or leave it.
    Globalist are trying to shut down all things agriculture and sabotage is always an option for they/them.
    Greedy globalists want it all to themselves, but only a fool would deliberately help their anti-human goals.
    Support the farmers unless you like the idea of eating zee bugs, then you can support globalists.

  7. Barry Thompson

    Live export should be stopped with no exceptions.

    Some primary producers will protest,but ill treatment of any animal is uncivilised.

    The importers will just have to accept frozen products, develop local sources,or do without.

  8. Terence Mills

    This is the nail in the coffin of this cruel and inefficient trade that has reflected so badly on Australia as a supplier of quality red meat products.

    Already Asian and most Middle Eastern countries generally have shifted to and prefer boxed chilled and frozen meat which is of a superior quality and much simpler to transport to markets and can be cheaper to land.

    Shut down this trade once and for all !

  9. New England Cocky

    Time to put the meat processing jobs back into Australia and end this unnecessary barbaric trade sending animals half way across the world to be slaughtered. Obviously the proponents of this business are either paying minimum prices for livestock or selling overseas at enormous profits. Otherwise the cost of transport cannot be justified.

  10. Clakka

    Excellent media release.

    It does absolutely nothing for anybody in this cruel and ludicrous game of stupidity disguised as diplomacy paying lip service to hocus-pocus.

    All the excuses are just bullshit piled upon bullshit.

    Bring ’em back now, stop the trade, and build more abattoirs, and train more meat-workers here to comply with our laws.

    And if necessary, they can receive their blessings here.

  11. Pete Petrass

    Aside from the fact that live exports should just be banned altogether, the absolute minimum for these animals should at least be to disembark from the ship to holding yards/farm/whatever for a few weeks recovery following nearly a month on board.

  12. New England Cocky

    Does this shipping corporation have any links to Israel?

  13. LambsFry Simplex.

    NEC, It is largely for some Mossie countries who have religious strictures on how meat can be slaughtered and also originally, live exports were a union- busting exercise.

    I saw another pic of a sick sheep lying in a heap of shit elsewhere on social media- the sheep seemed to asking through its sad eyes, “Have you no mercy”.. But wait.. specifically Israel?

    Perhaps one its equally sordid allies, but interesting point.

  14. Terence Mills

    Just another point, should these animals be re-shipped around the Cape and through the Mediterranean as has been suggested.

    If, at the port of discharge the consignee decides to reject the consignment of animals for whatever reason – and they don’t have to give a reason, just an adverse veterinary assessment will do – then we’re off again with these poor suffering damaged animals not being able to be discharged and will probably end up being dumped at sea.

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