The Australian Alliance for Animals has today welcomed the decision of the Department of Agriculture to reject an application to re-export approximately 15,000 sheep and cattle stranded on board the MV Bahijah since 5 January.
However, uncertainty remains over the fate of the animals with the Alliance holding concerns the exporter will apply for another re-export application.
In its statement advising of the decision, the Department of Agriculture confirmed that it was unable to be satisfied that the importing country requirements had been met, or that the transport arrangements were appropriate to ensure the health and welfare of the animals. But the statement goes on to say that the Department “stands ready to assess any future application submitted by the exporter.”
Alliance for Animals Policy Director Dr Jed Goodfellow said “the Department has absolutely made the right call with this decision, but we hold serious concerns the exporter will now make a fresh application to re-export these animals,
“We call on the exporter to do the right thing and abort the consignment,
“These animals have been through enough – over a month of standing and lying in their own waste and enduring oppressive heat and humidity at high stocking densities,
“The exporter must now bring their ordeal to an end by immediately unloading the animals here in Australia,
“If the exporter fails to do this, the Department of Agriculture should utilise all regulatory powers at its disposal to compel the exporter to unload the animals,
“This debacle is just the latest depressing episode in the long and tragic story that is Australia’s live sheep export trade. The government’s promised phase out cannot come soon enough.”
NOTES FOR MEDIA
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Dr Jed Goodfellow leads the Alliance’s law and policy reform agenda. He has over 20 years’ experience in animal welfare law, policy and advocacy. He completed his PhD in animal welfare regulation in 2015.
About the Australian Alliance for Animals
The Australian Alliance for Animals is a national charity leading a strategic alliance of Australia’s key animal protection organisations with a combined supporter base of over 2 million people. Core members include Animals Australia, Humane Society International Australia, World Animal Protection Australia, Compassion in World Farming, FOUR PAWS Australia, and Voiceless, the animal protection institute. Website: www.allianceforanimals.org.au