RSPCA seeks warrant

THE WA branch of the RSPCA says it will seek a warrant to board a livestock vessel stranded in Henderson for more than a week with 13,000 sheep and cattle aboard.

The Wellard Exports-owned vessel MC Ocean Outback, chartered to Victorian company Otway Exports for the voyage, broke down with engine problems last Tuesday and has been undergoing repairs since.

Wellards says only a handful or sheep and cattle has perished and animals are being independently monitored.

But the RSPCA says it wants to view the situation itself. It has the power to prosecute the company if it finds animals have suffered unnecessarily.

The Herald understands the vessel cannot be repaired in Australia and some livestock will be shipped to an Asian destination within reach of the damaged vessel, while others may remain in Australia.

Local Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren used the issue to reaffirm her party’s long-held call for live exports to be abandoned.

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