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Livestock Carriers News

22 May 2024

UK Ban on Live Animal Export Receives Royal Assent

Source: Defra

A new ban on exporting live animals came into law in the UK on May 20 as the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Act received Royal Assent.The act capitalizes on post-Brexit freedoms to bolster the UK’s position as a world leader in animal welfare standards, said the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.“The legislation delivers on a key manifesto commitment to ban the export of live animals including cattle, sheep, and pigs for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain.

13 May 2024

Australia Sets Date for End of Live Sheep Exports

Source: Dr Lynn Simpson

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture has announced that the nation’s live sheep export trade is to end on May 1, 2028.The end date will be legislated in the Labor government’s current term, after the Department of Agriculture (DAFF) developed a plan for the phase out of the industry which considered the analysis of an independent panel established for the purpose.The government has committed $107 million over five years for sheep producers and the supply chain to plan for and adjust to the phase out.

29 Apr 2024

Concerns Voiced over Potential Restart of New Zealand’s Live Export Industry

Source: SPCA.NZ

The New Zealand government may restart the live export trade which has been banned since May 1, 2023.The ban was imposed in response to veterinarians, animal welfare advocates and the New Zealand public decrying conditions and outcomes for the animals. There have also been multiple disasters for the industry.Animal welfare group SPCA says politicians claiming to be champions of farming and business do not have the support of all farmers or a business case for it.“Government would have the public believe that any opposition to their plan is anti-farming…

18 Apr 2024

Animal Welfare Groups Call For Live Sheep Export Ban Timetable

Source: Dr Lynn Simpson

An open letter has called on Australia’s Albanese Government to deliver on its election promise and legislate an end to live sheep export.The call, from the RSPCA and 10 other Australian animal protection organisations, comes nearly six months after the independent panel’s report was delivered to the Government — with still no plan for how and when live sheep export will be phased out.“Australians were relieved when the Albanese Government took this promise to the 2022 federal election,” said RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell.

03 Apr 2024

South African Court Rules on Sheep Inspections

lambs on a livestock carrier (Source: Dr Lynn Simpson)

South African animal welfare organization NSPCA has applauded a Judgment from the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, Makhanda, affirming the NSPCA’s ability to screen all animals being readied for loading on the Al Messilah livestock carrier which docked in the East London Harbour on April 2.The exporter, Al Mawashi, working through Page Farming Company, made an application in the High Court on March 29 designed to prevent the NSPCA from marking compromised animals to prevent them from being loaded and to stop NSPCA from screening for pregnant ewes.“Al Mawashi…

27 Mar 2024

Safety of Livestock Carriers Questioned

November 2021, inside the vessel Nader-A.  
© Animal Welfare Foundation

The German animal welfare organization Animal Welfare Foundation and the French environmental organization Robin des Bois have published a report on the safety risks associated with livestock carriers trading from the European Union. This snapshot of the fleet follows one produced by the organizations three years ago.Currently, 64 livestock carriers are permitted to load European animals on EU-ports to then export them to third countries. The report states that nearly half of…

26 Mar 2024

Over 100 Cattle Die on Voyage to Indonesia

Source: DAFF

Over 100 cattle have died after departing Australia on the Brahman Express. The vessel, built in 2002 and operated by Vroon, was destined for Indonesia.This is one of the highest mortality rates reported on an Australian short haul cattle shipment, states Vets Against Live Export in a blog, which notes that the mortality rate of 7.69% on the GL Kaihou’s maiden voyage in 2017 is still likely to be higher. On the GL Kaihou, 95 cattle died after the vessel’s non-slip flooring was found to be ineffective.The Australian Department of Agriculture (DAFF) stated that…

04 Mar 2024

After Failed Voyage, 14,500 Australian Livestock Sail Again for Israel

Image courtesy of Michael Mondello

Around 14,500 livestock sailed from Australia to Israel on Sunday for the second time, two months after their first voyage was curtailed by the threat of attack by Houthi militants in the Red Sea.The animals left Fremantle port in Perth on Jan. 5 but halfway to the Middle East, their ship abandoned its route and was ordered home by the Australian government.The turn-back was part of the havoc wrought by the Houthi strikes in support of Hamas militants in Palestine that have forced…

01 Mar 2024

Animal Welfare Groups Decry Bahijah Re-Export Decision

Image courtesy of Michael Mondello

The Australian Alliance for Animals and the RSPCA have expressed dismay over the decision by Australia’s Department of Agriculture to allow the re-export of more than 15,000 sheep on board the Bahijah to the Middle East.Originally, 16,000 Australian sheep and cattle were onboard the Bahijah for over a month after the vessel departed from Australia and then turned back from the Middle East due to maritime security concerns in the Red Sea. It was then recalled to Perth by the Department of Agriculture.The animals were unloaded after the Department rejected a plan for their immediate re-export.

12 Feb 2024

Unloading of Stranded Australian Livestock Begins

Image courtesy of Michael Mondello

Thousands of sheep and cattle stuck on a ship that was forced to abandon a passage through the Red Sea last month have begun disembarking at the same Australian port they left nearly six weeks ago, Australia's agriculture ministry said late on Monday.The MV Bahijah sailed from Fremantle, Western Australia on Jan. 5 for Israel with about 14,000 sheep and 2,000 cattle on board, but diverted from its route due to the threat of attack by Yemen's Houthi militia before being ordered…

07 Feb 2024

Australian Welfare Organizations Call for Suspension of Live Animal Exports

Source: Animals Australia

The Australian Alliance for Animals has written an open letter to animal exporters imploring them to voluntarily suspend all live animal exports to or through the Red Sea while the risk of attack remains and to suspend any extended journeys to the Middle East via the Cape of Good Hope.The move follows the recently aborted voyage of the Bahijah. The livestock carrier sailed from Australia for Israel on January 5 but was recalled over a week into the voyage after diverting towards…

06 Feb 2024

Concern Raised that Australian Sheep Will be Re-Exported

Source: Michael Mondello

The Australian government refused a request by an Israeli livestock exporter to send a ship carrying around 14,000 sheep and hundreds of cattle on a month-long voyage around Africa to Israel earlier this week, but it left the way open for other options.The Bahijah sailed from Australia for Israel on January 5 but was recalled over a week into the voyage after diverting towards South Africa, unwilling to sail through the Red Sea.The ship has been docked in Fremantle port, Western Australia…

05 Feb 2024

Australia Stops Ship Carrying Livestock from Sailing Around Africa to Israel

FILE PHOTO: Livestock carrier Bahijah berthed at North Quay, in the inner harbour of the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia, in 2018. (Credit: Bahnfrend / CC BY-SA)

The Australian government said on Monday it had refused a request by a livestock exporter to send a ship carrying around 14,000 sheep and 1,500 cattle on a month-long voyage around Africa to Israel.The animals have been on board the vessel for a month, prompting outcry from animal rights advocates who have likened their treatment to torture.The MV Bahijah sailed from Australia for Israel on Jan. 5 but abandoned a passage through the Red Sea due to threat of attack by Yemen's Houthi…

02 Feb 2024

Australian Livestock: Second Vessel Heads to Red Sea

Bahijah and Jawan in Fremantle (Source: Michael Mondello)

A ship carrying 16,000 sheep and cows that turned back from the Red Sea due to the risk of attack off Yemen was stranded at an Australian port in a heatwave on Friday as the exporter sought to offload at least some of the animals into quarantine.Meanwhile, another vessel carrying an even larger cargo - tens of thousands of animals - from Australia sailed for a Red Sea port in Jordan, with a contingency plan to unload them in the Gulf if it fails to obtain permission to enter the…

31 Jan 2024

Ship Carrying 16,000 Sheep and Cattle Stranded off Australia

FILE PHOTO: Livestock carrier Bahijah berthed at North Quay, in the inner harbour of the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia, in 2018. (Credit: Bahnfrend / CC BY-SA)

A ship carrying around 14,000 sheep and 2,000 cattle is marooned off the coast of Australia in sweltering heat after it was forced to abandon a trip through the Red Sea, causing outcry from people concerned about the animals' welfare.The vessel left Australia on Jan. 5 for Israel, where it was to unload, but diverted from its course in mid-January due to the threat of attack by Yemen's Houthi militia before being ordered home by the Australian government.The animals are now in limbo and could be discharged in Australia…

24 Jan 2024

Vroon Buys Livestock Carrier from the Tsuneishi Group

(Photo: Vroon)

Vroon announced it has acquired a livestock carrier from the Tsuneishi Group.The 83.9-meter-long vessel, Aurochs, purpose-built by Tsuneishi Group (Zhoushan) Shipbuilding Inc. in 2017, is the youngest livestock carrier operating in the global market.The ship will be renamed Friesian Express and managed by Vroon's Livestock Express team as the 13th vessel in the company's livestock fleet. The ship has just departed from Australia on its maiden voyage under our ownership.Following its restructuring last year…

21 Jan 2024

Australia Recalls Livestock Carrier Destined for Middle East

Source: Animals Australia

The Australian Government has recalled the livestock carrier Bahijah after it diverted from the Red Sea over a week into its voyage to the Middle East.The Bahijah loaded cattle and sheep in Fremantle, Western Australia, and departed for the Middle East on January 5, 2024. The vessel has an Israeli company name painted in large letters along the side of the hull.At the time of departure, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) said it was satisfied that the arrangements for the transport of the livestock were appropriate to ensure their health and welfare.

28 Nov 2023

Report Highlights EU Live Animal Transport Issues

Source: Eurogroup for Animals

A new report provides insights into animal welfare issues during transport within and from the EU.Around 44 million farmed animals a year are transported, including unweaned calves and lambs on journeys from Europe lasting up to three weeks.Inadequate and misleading official records are masking the true horror and scale of the EU’s long-distance trade in farmed animals, say the international NGOs Eurogroup for Animals and Compassion in World Farming, on release of the report.

27 Nov 2023

Australian Government Responds to Live Export Petition

Source: Animals Australia

The RSPCA has welcomed the tabling of the Australian federal Minister for Agriculture's response to one of the largest Australian parliamentary e-petitions in history, calling for an end to live sheep export.Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, stated: “The Australian Government acknowledges the considerable community concerns about animal welfare in the trade of live sheep exports by sea and understands the desire to see action.“The government took the commitment to phase out live sheep exports by sea to two elections…

14 Nov 2023

Animal Cruelty Charges Dropped

Images courtesy of Animals Australia

The animal cruelty charges that were brought against livestock export company Emanuel Exports have been dropped by prosecutors in Perth, Australia.Around 2,400 sheep died on the Awassi Express (subsequently renamed the Anna Marra) on a voyage from Fremantle to the Middle East in August 2017.The situation was brought to public attention when Animals Australia obtained whistleblower footage which was broadcast on a 60 Minutes program in April 2018. Footage from five separate voyages showed sheep suffering heat stress, some bogged in feces.

07 Nov 2023

UK: King Puts Live Export Ban Back on Agenda

Source: RSPCA

The King's Speech on November 7 set out the UK Government's agenda for the coming political year, and the animal welfare charity RSPCA is pleased that a live export ban - via an Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill - was amongst the issues raised in the supplementary notes.The RSPCA has campaigned to outlaw live exports for more than 50 years. Today, around 1.6 million farm animals – cattle, sheep, pigs and horses – are transported huge distances across Europe annually, some for slaughter…

05 Oct 2023

Brahman Express Returns to Port After Engine Room Fire

The livestock carrier Brahman Express suffered an engine room fire and returned to the Port of Darwin, Australia, on Wednesday.The vessel had approximately 3,600 cattle onboard and was bound for Indonesia when the incident occurred.No injuries to crew and no animal welfare issues have been reported.In a statement to ABC Rural, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it understood the fire was extinguished promptly.The livestock are expected to be discharged in Darwin.In May, the livestock carrier Nine Eagle experienced a major engine failure after leaving Darwin with 1,600 cattle onboard and was forced to return to port.

10 Aug 2023

Malaysia Concerned About Disease in Australian Cattle

Source: DAFF Australia

Malaysia has paused the import of all live cattle and buffalo from Australia citing concern about lumpy skin disease (LSD).The move follows a decision last month by Indonesia to halt live cattle imports from four locations in Australia after 13 cattle were found to have the disease.Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Mark Schipp has released a statement saying that Australia is urgently engaging with its Malaysian counterparts to advise that LSD is not present in Australia.“I have made representations to my Malaysian counterpart…