LIVE sheep export ship, the MV Awassi Express, is expected to be delayed for several days from leaving Fremantle port while its ventilation systems are adjusted.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is still waiting for the owner of Panama-flagged livestock carrier MV Awassi Express to conduct third party ventilation testing on the ship in Western Australia.
AMSA imposed the requirement for third party ventilation testing on exporter Emanuel Exports after the release of Animals Australia footage on the television program 60 Minutes showing sheep, dying and dead in cramped conditions on the Awassi Express during voyages to the Middle East in 2016 and 2017.
Emanuel Exports has agreed to special export permit conditions imposed by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources including reduced stocking densities, improved ventilation and regular monitoring of sheep welfare and conditions.
Emanuel Exports has also agreed to adjust the voyage schedule so that Kuwait will now be the first port of discharge, ahead of Qatar. The ship is due to unload about 24,000 sheep in Kuwait about 14 days after its departure from Fremantle and will then discharge the remaining 33,000 sheep in Qatar about three days later.
However, AMSA has said it will not renew the ship’s Australian Certificate for the Carriage of Livestock unless it is satisfied the ship complied with Marine Order 43, including requirements for minimum air flow across all areas of the livestock pens.
Other export permit conditions imposed on the Awassi Express by DAWR include reducing stocking density by 17.5 percent, adding an additional accredited stockman and ensuring that decks are maintained to deliver animal health and welfare. Inspections of animal welfare, feed, water and bedding must be done four times a day and recorded four times each day by the exporter and the independent department veterinarian on board, and a daily report with images of conditions provided to the department.
An AMSA spokesperson said today the authority understands the ship’s owner, Awassi Shipping SA, made arrangements for a ventilation technician from the manufacturer to assess the ship’s ventilation systems on Wednesday April 11.
“AMSA understands the technician will be undertaking adjustment work on the ship’s ventilation systems prior to the owner engaging a third party to conduct comprehensive ventilation testing.
“This work is expected to take several days to complete,” the AMSA spokesperson said.