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Animal activists fail to stop sheep leaving aboard COVID-19 ship

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

After 25 days docked at Fremantle Port, the coronavirus-stricken Al Kuwait is headed for the Middle East with 35,000 sheep on board, despite last-minute challenges from animal rights activists.

After 25 days docked at Fremantle Port, the coronavirus-stricken Al Kuwait is headed for the Middle East with 35,000 sheep on board, despite last-minute challenges from animal rights activists.

A judge in the Federal Court in Melbourne declined to accept Animals Australia's bid to stop the export.

"It demonstrates a sense of entitlement on Animals Australia's behalf, but certainly the court has made what we see as a common-sense ruling here," Mark Harvey-Sutton of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council said.

"These were extraordinary circumstances that the exporter was faced with, and pleasingly, we can fulfil our responsibilities in providing food security globally."

Activists nonetheless protested outside Parliament House and at the port.

"We would not want this done to other fellow Australians, these are Australians too," activist Grant Stewart said.

It's been a long and controversial road for the exporter to get to this point.

When the ship docked in Fremantle last month, 21 crew on board had contracted COVID-19.

Unable to leave, it missed the June 1 export deadline.

An initial application for an exemption was rejected by the Department of Agriculture, but a second one was approved before being challenged in the Federal Court.

The total number of sheep en route to Kuwait was reduced by 15,000 to reduce the risk of sunstroke in a northern hemisphere summer.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/sheep-live-export-al-kuwait-court-challenge-refused-vessel-leaves-fremantle/53950b4d-aa88-4718-9432-4a24549b513f

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