Sixteen thousand animals are stranded off the coast of Australia in a ship that cannot continue its journey due to turmoil in the Red Sea. Activists are concerned because the temperature on the ship rises to 40 degrees during the day.
The ship carrying the animals, mostly sheep, left Australia for Israel on January 5. But Yemen's Houthi rebels are targeting ships in the Red Sea, especially those heading to Israel. For this reason, the Australian government decided to recall the ship MV Bahija.
The Israeli buyers have submitted a request to bring additional livestock feed on board. This way the ship can make a much longer trip around the African continent.
Animal activists and local politicians are angry about the plan. Australian animal welfare organization RSPCA calls the plan “reckless, cold-blooded and irresponsible”. The organization says profits are put above the interests of animals Bloomberg.
“Fourteen thousand sheep are being studied for a 60-day journey in a very hot and smelly hold,” said Josh Wilson, an Australian Member of Parliament who represents Fremantle, the city where the sheep were loaded. “I can't reconcile this with animal welfare as Australians would like to see it.”
A request has been made to remove the animals from the board
The Australian Department of Agriculture says there is no indication that there are health risks to the animals on board Reuters.
The alternative is to remove some of the animals from the ship. A request to this effect has now also been submitted to the Australian Government. This process takes a long time, because the country has strict quarantine rules. The ship remains anchored until a decision is made. It is unclear how long this will last.
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