By Claire Valdini
Animal rights activists concerned about animals after rejected by quarantine officials
Animal rights activists in Australia have raised concerns about the welfare of 22,000 sheep stranded off the coast of Bahrain after they were rejected by quarantine officials in the Gulf state.
The sheep have been on board the live export ship for two weeks longer than planned, Australia’s The World Today programme reported.
The MV Ocean Drover shipment of 75,000 sheep set off from Western Australia in August and unloaded 53,000 sheep in Qatar and Oman. The remaining livestock was rejected in Bahrain over concerns some had “scabby mouth”, a virus that can affect humans.
The sheep remain onboard the MV Ocean Drover shipment, the programme said.
Animal welfare groups criticised regulations between Australia and Bahrain.
“It shows that even though the Australian government has tried to put in place arrangements so that ships can always be offloaded to protect the welfare of those animals in the first instance so that they're not sitting on a ship,” said Heather Neil, chief executive of the RSPCA, said.
“Those MOUs in this case haven’t come into play,” she added.
A similar incident in 2003 caused a political storm in Australia after 57,000 sheep were kept onboard a ship for 80 days after Saudi Arabia rejected the livestock for scabby mouth.
Ten percent of the sheep onboard the Cormo Express died before the livestock was eventually accepted by Eritrea. The Australian government was forced to carry on a federal government review and change live export standards.For all the latest industry news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
The question that should be raised is, given the stringent quarantine controls in Australiam how did they manage to export infected sheep?
As it is a virus the signs will disappear. All sheep for export should have proof they have been vaccinated against the disease in the first place.
People need to eat and the export trade is designed for this. Get realistic .... many people are starving.
Go to the root of the problem with the export not the export itself.
simple solution... Ban Live Export!
Clearly a nasty business where profit is the objective and pandering to the buyer takes precedence over and above moral obligation.