Uncertainty for 13,000 live export animals grows

The Greens reacted to news of the Israeli Government's cancellation of the permit to import 13,000 sheep and cattle aboard the stricken Ocean Outback today saying the incident highlights unacceptable risks to Australian livestock.

With 13,000 cattle and sheep stuck aboard a stricken ship in the Henderson shipyards the Greens have joined animal welfare groups in calling for decisive action towards ending live exports. 

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren this week asked the RSPCA to board the vessel to inspect the welfare of the 5,600 cattle and 7,600 sheep on board Wellard Rural Exports’ Ocean Outback. 

“This mechanical breakdown, in the heat of summer, may extend their journey by a couple of weeks," Ms Maclaren said.

"I expect more feed and water will be needed. The animals should be inspected again to ensure they are still healthy enough to withstand the journey before loading onto another vessel if the charterer intends to re-commence the shipment."

Greens National Animal Welfare Spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said it was the fifth time a live export ship carrying Australian animals had broken down in the past two years. 

"The continuing cruelty of live exports is inexcusable," Senator Rhiannon said.

“Ending live exports should not be a political game.

"Australians remember all too clearly the thousands of live export animals that have perished and thousands more that have been exposed to horrific treatment.

“The Government must invest in a box chilled meat industry to protect jobs and move to end live exports."