Statement on Department of Agriculture decision on MV Bahijah

I note this evening’s decision by the independent regulator of live animal exports in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, to reject the application to re-export more than 15,000 sheep and cattle overseas on the MV Bahijah.

I also note the Department’s statement that this was a very complex decision, based upon the plan submitted by the exporter, that had to balance export legislation, animal welfare considerations and the requirements of our international trading partners.

I have spoken with the Western Australian Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis this evening to brief her on the decision and to thank the WA Government for their assistance with this issue to date.

I am advised that the next steps for the livestock on board are the responsibility of the exporter.

I encourage members of the WA meat processing supply chain to assist with the handling of these animals, which are prime Australian produce.

I know that all Australians expect a swift outcome, that complies with Australia’s strict biosecurity protocols and maintains strong animal welfare standards.