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16 August 2011

The RSPCA is attempting to board a live export ship currently stranded in the Adelaide Port to assess the welfare of 67,000 sheep that have been stranded on board for a week.

It’s understood that the ship left Adelaide for the Middle East last Tuesday but returned to port last weekend due to mechanical problems.

RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil said it’s understood AQIS is currently assessing options.

“This incident highlights the inherent risks in transporting animals over such vast distances by sea, risks that the industry has never been able to address.”

“The journey to the Middle East was already going to take up to 20 days and that these sheep have already been in limbo for seven days is completely unacceptable.

“The RSPCA’s immediate concern is for the animals on board and has requested access to ensure the welfare of the sheep is protected.”

The live export ship in question is understood to be one of the oldest vessels in the live export fleet - the Al Messilah, a converted car carrier that has a history of mechanical problems.

“This is exactly the same number of sheep that were on the Cormo Express. Whether it’s trade disputes or mechanical breakdowns, animals in this trade are always at risk."


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