Livestock exporting company Wellard Rural Exports says one of its boats in the Middle East is experiencing unloading delays.
The company says the sheep have been inspected "in-port" by an independent veterinarian approved by the Bahrain Government.
In a written statement, the company says the sheep on board "were prepared by Wellard and inspected and certified for export by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service in accordance with health conditions agreed between the Australian and Bahrain Governments".
"Sheep from the same consignment were successfully discharged in two other markets without incident before the vessel arrived in Bahrain," Wellard said.
"Wellard is now working through the current issue with its importer, Bahraini Livestock Company, which is the legal owner of the cargo, the Bahrain Government and the Australian Government.
"Animal welfare will remain the prime focus of those discussions."
The Federal Agriculture Department says it's working with the exporter to "expedite the discharge of the animals".
The department says a DAFF veterinarian is monitoring the health of the animals and fodder and water are available to the sheep.
The importer, Bahraini Livestock Company, which is the legal owner of the sheep, didn't want to comment publicly.
However, the Daily Tribune is an English newspaper in Bahrain and chief reporter Bonny Mascarenhas has been following the story.
He says two ships have been found to be carrying infected sheep.
"In the first case it was said that it had ORF, a number of sheep had ORF," he said.
"The second ship also had a similar case, but we weren't told what was there.
"Bahrain's Ministry of Health officials had gone on the boat."
Animal rights group Animals Australia has asked the Federal Government to send its chief veterinarian to Bahrain to inspect the sheep.
Executive director Glenys Oogjes says there have been problems with two ships recently.
"There's a second ship that has apparently just unloaded in Kuwait and it was delayed one week with similar problems; the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry confirmed this yesterday," she said.
"What we've asked that they do is send the chief veterinary officer to the Middle East immediately so there can be an independent Australian Government representative to ensure the welfare of the animals, but, importantly, to negotiate to ensure they're unloaded from that ship."
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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