Stakeholders seeking to re-export livestock aboard the MV Bahijah to Israel via the Cape of Good Hope has been rejected by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
DAFF secretary Adam Fennessy said the fate of the livestock remaining onboard the vessel were "commercial decisions for the exporter" now "that the regulatory decision has been made."
"A range of options remain available to the exporter, and the department stands ready to assess any future application submitted by the exporter," he said.
"My department supports a resolution to this matter as quickly as possible and stands ready to respond to any further requests from the commercial exporter."
The application had been submitted on January 26.
The MV Bahihaj berthed in Fremantle Port early last Thursday morning after 25 days at sea to take on fresh feed and other supplies although none of the 16,500 sheep or cattle aboard the vessel were unloaded at that time.
However, several hundred cattle were subsequently offloaded last Friday night while the sheep have remained onboard.
The sheep and the ship, owned by Israeli company Basem Dabbah, has otherwise been anchored about 10 kilometres off the WA coast since Monday afternoon after first leaving Fremantle on January 5.
It abandoned its voyage due to the risk of violence by Houthis militants targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea channel.
The rejected application to re-export using a more circutious route around the Cape of Good Hope was solely due to avoiding the Houthis.
However, Mr Fennessy said the departmental regulator was not satisfied all relevant requirements of the Export Control Rules had been, or would be, fully complied with before the livestock were imported into Israel.
He said the regulator was also unsatisfied that the importing country requirements relating to the livestock had been met, or would be met, before the livestock arrived in Israel.
And that the regulator was also not satisfied that the arrangements for the transport of the livestock to their final overseas destination were appropriate to ensure their health and welfare.
"This decision-making required thorough and detailed engagement with the legislative scheme and consideration of all available evidence and submissions, in real time as this complex situation evolved," Mr Fennessy said.
Further details were not published by DAFF.
However, Mr Fennessy said the department would continue to monitor and help manage the health and welfare of the livestock and upholding Australia's biosecurity.
"Applications to export live animals undergo complex assessments that balance Australian biosecurity, export legislation, animal welfare considerations and the requirements of our international trading partners," he said.
"The livestock on the vessel continue to be in good health and they remain under veterinary care and supervision. There is no suspicion of exotic pests or diseases within the livestock."