UPDATE: THE RSPCA is attempting to board a live export ship stranded in the Adelaide Port to assess the welfare of 67,000 sheep.
It is believed the sheep have been stranded on board for a week.
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It is understood the ship left Adelaide for the Middle East last Tuesday but returned to port last weekend due to mechanical problems.
RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil said it was understood AQIS was currently assessing options.
"The journey to the Middle East was already going to take up to 20 days and that these sheep have already been in limbo for seven days is completely unacceptable," she said.
"The RSPCA’s immediate concern is for the animals on board and has requested access to ensure the welfare of the sheep is protected."
The live export ship in question is understood to be one of the oldest vessels in the live export fleet - the Al Messilah, a converted car carrier that has a history of mechanical problems.