A ship carrying 14,000 sheep and 2,000 cattle en route to Israel has run aground off the coast of Australia in 40-degree heat. The ship had to cut short its journey due to the threat in the Red Sea.
Source: Independent, The Guardian
Yesterday at 11:22 PM
The MV Bahijah left Australia for Israel on January 5, but in mid-January the ship was diverted due to the threatened Houthi attacks on the Red Sea and not much later the Australian government decided that the ship had to turn around and return to Australia. It is now there off the west coast at a temperature of 40 degrees, waiting for new orders.
Because it is still unclear what should happen to the ship and the thousands of animals on board. Authorities are working on a plan to quarantine the livestock. The animals, or at least some of them, may be disembarked on Thursday.
The Ministry of Agriculture reports that the sheep and cattle are doing well, but according to Australian MP Josh Wilson, among others, the entire episode shows that the export of live animals is “rotten to the core”. “Consideration is now underway for 14,000 sheep to travel on a hot and smelly metal ship for 60 days.”
Israel is a key export market for Australia’s agricultural sector, which shipped 86,100 sheep worth $6.5 million and 10,848 cattle worth $14 million to Israel in the first three months of last year.
Yement’s Houthi rebels began attacking Western commercial shipping bound for Israel in mid-November in response to that country’s war. Since mid-January, a coalition of the US and Britain has been carrying out retaliatory strikes on Houthi targets to deter future attacks.