Australian live export ship restarts journey to Israel

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Pearl of Para has set sail for Israel
Pearl of Para has set sail for Israel

Related tags Livestock Australia Rspca Beef

An Australian live export ship forced to return to Freemantle port for mechanical repairs has finally set sail on its voyage to Israel.

The Pearl of Para, which is carrying 5,240 head of Australian cattle, resumed its journey yesterday and is expected to reach its destination in around three weeks.

The vessel originally departed Australia on 4 September, but was forced to return on 10 September after experiencing a propulsion engine breakdown around 300km off the Australian coast. Engineers finished the repairs on Tuesday, and the ship was cleared to leave port on Wednesday.

Concerns had been raised over the welfare of the cattle, which boarded the ship on 3 September, but the Department of Agriculture (DAFF) said vets and welfare inspectors had “verified the cattle’s continued health and welfare”. It added that the department had “ensured that additional feed, bedding and veterinary supplies have been provided to ensure the ongoing health and welfare for the entire voyage”.

The exporter Alan Schmidt also invited RSPCA inspectors on board to conduct an independent assessment before it set sail.

“We are pleased that the RSPCA was allowed to board the ship to assess the condition of the animals,”​ said RSPCA Australia president Lynne Bradshaw.

“The RSPCA’s Inspectorate staff are highly trained and experienced at assessing the welfare of animals, so we felt it was appropriate that the RSPCA should be able to board the ship and give an independent assessment of the situation and we were pleased that this has happened.”

Schmidt told local press that the repairs had cost his business more than $500,000, but the cattle were in good shape for the journey to Israel.

“We want to deliver the livestock in the best possible condition. They are in fine form now, they are clean, they are warm and they are dry, and we want to keep them that way,”​ he said.

Related topics Meat

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