Livestock transport vessel Al Kuwait recently returned to Australia from the Arabian Gulf and had reported that some of the crew members felt ill with slight flu like symptoms.
On arrival in Fremantle, immediate medical consultation was sought and any of the crew members that had previously felt unwell or were showing symptoms have now been tested for Covid-19, according to the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC). It has been confirmed that six of the crew have tested positive and have now been safely removed from the vessel by WA health authorities.
“The industry remains committed to the highest standard of animal welfare, and ensuring all staff and crew are well cared for,” said ALEC in a statement. “The master of the vessel would like to reassure the public that all procedures outlined by the WA health department are being followed and upheld in accordance with Covid-19 protocol. The health and wellbeing of the vessel’s crew remains the exporter’s top priority.”
RETWA, the exporter, is continuing to work closely with WA health authorities, following their advice and ensuring the highest level care for the crew is in place. The crew on board have been communicating with their families to let them know they are safe and well provided for.
“The Covid-19 vessel protocols were in place and were followed, the crew remain on board the vessel in quarantine while WA health continues to provide advice and next steps,” said Mark Harvey-Sutton ALEC CEO.
“It is important to note that the crew did not disembark from the vessel and were not in the WA community. We are working through next steps and there is no animal welfare concerns. The feedlot is well stocked with food and water, with vets and stock handlers on staff. The sheep are in sheds, protected against the weather, and can be looked after as long as it takes to resolve the situation.”
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