Australia: Observing Animal Transport Shop Bahijah at Port of Fremantle

[Translate to englisch:] Tiertransportschiff Hafen Fremantle

Animals’ Angels have been monitoring the events involving the Bahijah vessel that is carrying approximately 15000 sheep and 2000 cattle. The animals have been held on board for over a month, first leaving Fremantle Western Australia on January 5 2024 destined for Israel. However, due to the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea, the Australian Government recalled the ship back to Australia. As we understand, the plan was for the vessel to change the route and move around the south of Africa. However this means the ‘journey plan had changed’ and the exporter did not have a permit for that journey as it becomes a ‘long haul’ and requires less animals and more space. Further, as we understand, the vessel was running out of feed. 

As a result, the Bahijah returned to Australia and has been well off the WA coast presumably cleaning the decks where possible and we believe disposing of the dead sheep, or, in port replenishing with feed and water until such time as a decision was made on the exporters application to re-export the animals. Meanwhile the vessel arranged with the Federal Government for approximately 500 cattle who were in less-than-optimal condition to be unloaded. This occurred on 3 February. We understand they were taken to more than one quarantine premises to be checked over. Apparently 4 cattle died either enroute or at the premises.  

On 5 February 2024, the department refused a Notice of Intention to export given by the exporter in relation to a consignment of sheep and cattle onboard MV Bahijah.” The animals were to be unloaded. Unloading of the sheep and remaining cattle commenced at approximately 4.30pm at Berth 1 at the Port of Fremantle. The sheep were transported to the Ausvision Export Preparation Facility and Export Research Centre in Wellard Western Australia to be unloaded. 

As of 12 February, the sheep and cattle have been held on board the vessel for 39 days. 

It has been reported by the Australian Government that as of 12 February 2024, 4 cattle and 60 sheep died. Reported in the media is that the plan is for the animals to rest and be re-exported in 10 days time.