It is not yet clear where the animals exported to South Asia will go. "I won't be the exporter if they go to Southeast Asia and I can't comment on who the exporter will be," Schmidt said.
Local animal activists are suspicious of the spokesperson's business-as-usual tone. "Of course, the exporter's spokesman continues to report ... that it's all good on board," wrote the LiveExport - GlobalVoice4Animals Facebook page on Thursday. "However, the facts are not changed ... Animals are dying."
The page observes that the ship went beyond 50 km out, which is where Otway reports the ship's location in the waters. The ship was "so far out that, at one point, it seriously looked like it was being taken out of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone, which is 320 km out," the page announced. "No doubt a main reason to go so far out would have been to get rid of the evidence of the deaths."