Media statement: MV Ocean Outback, update 10 January

​​​On 9 January the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, working closely with the Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), approved a proposal by the exporter to manage livestock on board the MV Ocean Outback.

Under this proposal, sheep have been unloaded in Australia and cattle have remained on board for export to South East Asia.

This solution maintains the highest standards of animal welfare and reflects strong cooperation between the exporter, the live export industry, and state and federal government agencies.

On the evening of 9 January, all animals on board the MV Ocean Outback were inspected by departmental and Australian Government accredited veterinarians alongside independent experts.

No concerns for the welfare of the animals were identified and they were found to be in excellent condition.

The department conducted a Biosecurity Risk Assessment and issued an import permit for sheep on board the vessel, which requires that the sheep be moved to a registered premises and kept isolated from the national livestock herd. 

There were no injuries or mortalities during unloading and transport of the sheep to registered premises. All required biosecurity precautions were taken under the supervision of DAFWA. This included disposal or cleaning of equipment that have come into contact with the animals.

Cattle remained on board the vessel for export to South East Asia. Departmental officials inspected the cattle prior to departure to ensure they were fit for travel and certify that all importing country requirements have been met.

The exporter has loaded medicines, fodder and bedding materials in excess of the normally required levels. Cattle on board will be also moved to provide additional space following the unloading of the sheep.

The MV Ocean Outback departed Fremantle at 5.20 am AWST on 10 January.

The vessel currently complies with all AMSA requirements for on board livestock services and travel to South East Asia.

The department will continue to monitor the situation in line with its regulatory responsibilities for the export of livestock.

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