A recent analysis by The Guardian indicates that livestock carriers are twice as likely to be lost as cargo vessels. Along with tragedies such as the loss of the Gulf Livestock 1, the safety risks associated with the trade were recently highlighted in Australia when the Barkly Pearl, wallowing heavily with a hole in the hull, limped into Geraldton with 2 tugs assisting in early November.
Now, another incident has occurred. The Nabolsi I is reported to have suffered engine failure en route from Algeria to France. No livestock are reported to be on board the vessel which is now under tow.
Thanks to Covid, no sheep were exported from Australia via sea for the month of October and only 616,843 sheep were exported by sea from Jan 1 to to the end of October, the lowest number on record for many years. In addition to the effect of the Northern summer moratorium, a record 1.5m head of lambs and adult sheep have been transferred to the Eastern States since January 1. Farm Weekly reports that "Due to the increased compliance on live sheep vessels and the unviable nature of the added costs, there are also fewer players operating in the trade on a regular basis." Looks like the price of adequate animal welfare is just too high. Shame.
Barkly Pearl wallowing heavily with a hole in the hull and limped into Geraldton with 2 tugs this afternoon. Fortunately no stock on board to destabilise her any further.....or we would be looking at another live ex disaster!