Investigation after 59 cattle die during and after sea journey

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing following the death of 59 cattle which were shipped from Stanley in Tasmania to Port Welshpool.

Reportedly being injured after rough seas on Sunday, January 31, some of the cattle died on the ship while others had to be put down after arrival.

The cattle were bound for a Victorian abattoir.

Tasmanian and Victorian authorities are investigating.

A spokesperson for the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources said that all circumstances, including the sea conditions, were being examined.

“A district veterinary officer and animal health officer were immediately deployed to Port Welshpool to ensure that the welfare of the cattle was safeguarded,” they said.

“Understanding the cause is critical to preventing such incidents from recurring.”

The spokesperson said the transport of livestock to and from King Island and Flinders Islands in Bass Strait to Port Welshpool had been common practice over many years.

“Several thousand cattle and sheep are shipped annually without any significant incident,” the spokesperson said.

Animal rights activists are furious, and point to the incident being evidence of the harm that live export can cause.