CONTROVERSIAL livestock carrier Bahijah is once again on its way to Israel after the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry late last week gave the new export voyage the green light.

The 2010-built, Marshall Islands-flagged Bahijah, owned by Israeli company Bassem Dabbah Shipping and managed by Korkyra Shipping of Croatia, originally sailed from Fremantle on 5 January for Aqaba, Jordan.  But eleven days into its voyage the ship diverted from its destination due to the Red Sea security situation and on 20 January the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ordered it back to Australia over animal welfare concerns.

Bassem Dabbah’s 26 January application for the re-export of the animals to Israel, this time via the Cape of Good Hope, was not approved by DAFF and it remained slow-steaming off the WA coast. On 10 February DAFF gave permission for the livestock to be unloaded in Fremantle, which occurred the following week.

Fatality rates amongst the almost 17,000 sheep and cattle, on board for 40 days, were found by the chief veterinarian to be within allowable limits.

On Friday [1 March] DAFF announced it had “approved a notice of intention to export a consignment of livestock to Israel on the MV Bahijah.

“The decision was made in accordance with the requirements of the Export Control Act 2020.

“The exporter intends to transport the livestock to Israel without passing through the Red Sea.

“All consignments of livestock exported from Australia are subject to inspection by departmental veterinarians to ensure they are fit for export and meet all importing country requirements,” the department said.

Bahijah departed Fremantle again on Sunday at 1600 hrs and is showing an expected arrival at Haifa, Israel on 5 April.