Here’s the latest advice from the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as of 6 pm tonight.
Update 31 January 2024, 9pm AEST/6pm WST
The department continues to work closely with the exporter to determine the next steps for the livestock on board the MV Bahijah and reach a resolution as quickly as possible.
Australia’s biosecurity, and the health and welfare of the livestock onboard, are our highest priorities.
The department met with the Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports and other relevant entities to provide an update on the situation today.
The latest reports from the veterinarian on board the vessel suggest the livestock remain in good health and there is no evidence of any significant health, welfare or environmental concerns.
Two independent veterinarians today visited the vessel to inspect the livestock and facilities. The department will review their findings and consider next steps.
The department continues to assess the application to re-export the livestock provided by the exporter.
These are complex assessments that must balance Australian biosecurity, export legislation, animal welfare considerations and the requirements of our international trading partners.
Further information will be published as decisions are reached.
Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Beth Cookson has observed:
“People can have confidence we are focussed on achieving an optimal outcome for the health and wellbeing of the livestock on board, while at the same time preserving Australia’s pristine biosecurity status.
“There is an intensive effort occurring across a range of expert and regulatory areas within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
“Those involved in Government and industry are very conscious of the need to move quickly while working through these arrangements.
“The exporter’s registered veterinarian is on board the vessel and is recording details of the health and welfare of the livestock. While we have found those reports are encouraging, the department has also engaged veterinarians to travel to the vessel and review conditions on board for additional due diligence.”
It is the understanding of Fremantle Shipping News that the Bahijah is likely to dock in Fremantle tomorrow Thursday, 1 February 2024. We will keep readers informed.
* By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News
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