BREAKING NEWS: Another live export ‘ship of death’ is secretly loading sheep at Fremantle right now, as Australia’s fury over the disaster-plagued live export trade continues to rise.
RSPCA Australia has learned the live export ship MV Maysora is currently being loaded with sheep in preparation for imminent departure from Fremantle, and it’s unclear what – if any – new conditions have been applied to protect animals.
This will be the first ship to leave since horrific footage of routine on-board conditions in the live export trade was revealed on 60 Minutes last week.
In what appears to be a secret effort to export sheep away from public scrutiny, it comes as both the live export and Australian Government claim commitment to improving animal welfare and greater transparency.
Registered in the Bahamas and built almost 30 years ago, the Maysora – like the Awassi Express at the centre of this week’s scandal – is another name well-known among animal welfare groups as a ‘ship of death’.
The Maysora is a larger and (one year) older ship than the Awassi Express. It's a converted container carrier, and sadly, it has a comparable track record of suffering and death.
In 2014, RSPCA South Australia investigated the company after receiving a complaint that electric prods being used (illegally) on live camels being loaded for export, in violation of industry regulations.
In 2006, the Maysora arrived in Israel with a consignment of sheep that was rejected due to fears of a disease outbreak - 862 sheep died during the month long voyage.
After offloading some sheep in Jordan, around 40,000 were then taken unexpectedly to Egypt where they were slaughtered as part of the Eid Al Adha religious festival.
Around 241 cattle also died in board, while hundreds more reportedly perished in feeldots shortly after being offloaded from the ship.
In 2005, the ship was fully laden with 80,000 sheep when it was delayed at Fremantle due to engine trouble. No animal welfare authorities were allowed to monitor the condition of the animals on board.
The RSPCA has urgently sought an explanation and advice from the Minister and the Department of Agriculture.