The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council says livestock welfare has not been compromised by delays to the voyage of a livestock export vessel which experienced mechanical issues off Fremantle on Tuesday night.
In a statement to media, the council said it has been working closely with the exporters responsible for the consignment of 5600 feeder cattle and 7600 sheep on board, which are destined for Israel.
One of the two engines on the Wellard-owned vessel the MV Ocean Outback experienced mechanical issues shortly after its departure from Fremantle.
ALEC said the voyage was temporarily delayed as a precautionary measure.
Otway Livestock Exports, which is chartering the vessel, has confirmed the supply of feed, water and ventilation has not been affected and that veterinary staff and stockmen are monitoring the health of the livestock on board.
“All livestock remain in excellent health, having been assessed by an Australian Government-accredited veterinarian at a pre-export quarantine facility before being loaded on board,” the ALEC statement said.
“Prior to loading, the MV Ocean Outback was also inspected by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which confirmed the vessel and its livestock support services (ventilation and water delivery) are mechanically sound and fit to carry livestock.”
“The Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources was advised immediately of the mechanical issues and relevant government agencies will continue to be engaged during this period.
“Arrangements have also been made for the provision of additional supplies to the vessel as required. Once repairs are completed, the vessel will recommence its voyage.”
ALEC said the MV Ocean Outback was designed and built with a Dual Independent Propulsion System, so it can safely operate on one engine.
Wellard said in the statement that safety and animal welfare considerations will be prioritised in the coming days as repairs are undertaken.