Author Topic: Pearl of Para carrying cattle for Israel broken down off Rottnest-WA  (Read 1272 times)

WA Export News

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Pearl of Para carrying cattle for Israel broken down off Rottnest-WA
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 09:33:18 AM »
 Loaded cattle ship broken down off Rottnest.
A live export ship that hit mechanical problems on a voyage to Israel is expected to return to Fremantle today amid assurances from industry and government officials that the cattle on board remain in good condition.

The Pearl of Para, which left Fremantle on Wednesday with 5240 cattle, was anchored off Rottnest last night with engineers due to assess the repairs needed.

    Loaded cattle ship broken down off RottnestThe Pearl of Para. File photo       

Australian Livestock Exporters' Council chief executive Alison Penfold said a problem with the propeller shaft had not affected the ventilation, feed and water systems on the vessel.

A veterinarian and experienced stockmen were on board and no animal welfare problems had been reported.

The ship had been expected to take three weeks to reach Israel, which is WA's most valuable customer for live cattle in 2012-13 with exports worth $41 million.

Ms Penfold said the captain decided to return to Fremantle after three days at sea because it was the best way to ensure the welfare of the Brahman cross cattle while conducting repairs.

"The exporter, AH & R Schmidt, completely supports the decision of the captain," Ms Penfold said.

"The welfare of these cattle is our responsibility and we want to make sure there are no issues."

ALEC is arranging for Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry inspectors to board the vessel to check on the cattle.

AH & R Schmidt is a relatively new player in WA but Alan Schmidt has been involved in the cattle and meat industry for more than 40 years. He has exported livestock for more than 15 years.

A decision on whether the cattle need to be offloaded and trans-shipped will be made after an assessment of the time needed to complete repairs.

The exporter has advised Israeli authorities of the mechanical problems and is keeping them informed of the ship's progress.

"The cattle are settled and it is very early in the shipment," Ms Penfold said.

"Subject to professional advice, we think the best welfare will be maintained by avoiding unnecessary movement, unloading and reloading.

"If repairs can be completed in a timely manner, then the overall duration on board for cattle will be well within normal travel times for the type of livestock on board and the high standard of the vessel.

"If repairs take longer, we will either tranship the cattle to another vessel or unload the cattle and hold them until the vessel is ready to depart."

A DAFF spokeswoman said the on-board vet was making daily reports and there had been no deaths or welfare concerns.

Brad Thompson, The West Australian Updated September 10, 2013,