Animal welfare was at the forefront with the 1500 Wagyu cross feeder steers heading to Japan on board the MV Finola, that have since returned to the Hamilton Port of Brisbane.
The MV Finola left on February 5, but returned to back port the following day with a mechanical failure of the starboard engine.
A spokesperson for the Australian Livestock Export Council confirmed there were 1500 Wagyu-cross feeder cattle on board bound for Japan as part of a regular trade of Wagyu cattle out of the Brisbane port.
“Once it was determined the engine needed significant repairs, the cattle were unloaded from the ship last weekend,” the ALEC spokesperson said.
“While the cattle remained on board on livestock-related infrastructure remained fully operational to provide food, water and ventilated air to the animals on board.
The cattle were inspected by a Department of Agriculture, Water Resources veterinarian and found there were no animal welfare issues or deaths reported while the cattle were on board or unloaded.
The cattle have since been returned to the quarantine facility on the Darling Downs to ensure they meet biosecurity requirements and remain eligible for export to Japan.
The ALEC spokesperson said the cattle were unloaded within the time frame and retained their quarantine status and this is a prime example of the livestock export system working,” he said.
These cattle will resume their export journey once the ship is fixed or an alternative ship is sourced.