Australia refuses to extend live export ban for Al Kuwait

The Australian federal government has refused to extend its live export ban so that 56,000 sheep currently stranded shoreside in a feedlot in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Livestock carrier Al Kuwait (IMO 9590931) docked in Fremantle on May 22nd. The vessel had been due to transport the sheep but was put into lockdown quarantine after crew members tested positive to Covid-19.

Exporter Rural Export and Trading (WA) had asked for an exemption to Australia’s northern summer live export ban, which begins on June 1st.

There had been reported talks to sail the sheep to the Middle East aboard livestock carrier Anna Marra (IMO 8901860) (formerly the Awassi Express).

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment said that “following consideration of all relevant matters under the legislation, including animal welfare and trade implications, the department has taken the decision not to grant an exemption to the exporter. The livestock that was to be exported in this consignment remain at registered premises and the department is satisfied there are no welfare concerns,” the department said on June 2nd.

A skeleton crew of 10 remains on board the Al Kuwait, which cannot leave Fremantle before June 13th.

2016-built, Kuwait-flagged, 36,028 gt Al Kuwait is owned and managed by Livestock Transport of Safat, Kuwait. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Eastern Syndicate) on behalf of Livestock Transport & Trading Co, KSC.