Report 113: MV Anna Marra - Cattle and sheep exported to Indonesia and Malaysia in April 2019

Cattle and sheep exported to Indonesia and Malaysia in April 2019

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Voyage summary

The MV Anna Marra commenced loading in Fremantle on 18 April 2019 and finalised loading in Broome. The vessel departed Broome on 24 April 2019 carrying a total of 14,334 cattle and 4,997 sheep for three exporters. The first discharge was at Panjang, Indonesia on 29 and 30 April 2019; then Jakarta, Indonesia on 1 May 2019; then Port Klang, Malaysia on 4 to 6 May 2019 and finally Pzasir Gudang, Malaysia on 8 May 2019, making this a 21 day voyage.

An Independent Observer (observer) boarded the vessel in Broome and remained on board until completion of discharge.

The mortality rate for the voyage was 0.03% (five mortalities) for cattle and 0.66% (33 mortalities) for sheep. These do not exceed the reportable mortality rates. The causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporters.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations and has been approved by the observer.

Independent Observations of the implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock

Exporter documentation

Exporter voyage instructions relating to the care and management of the livestock during the voyage were made available.

Loading

There were no animal welfare issues observed during loading.

The livestock were loaded and allocated pens mostly according to the individual exporters load plans. Some pens were assessed to be crowded by the LiveCorp Accredited Stockpersons (stockpersons) and adjustments were made to redistribute the animals and to facilitate disembarkation at the first port.

The observer was not provided with a complete vessel schematic illustrating vessel pen areas and so was not readily able to calculate the permissible pen density. The observer was provided individual pen areas upon request. Using some of these pen areas and comparing with Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) requirements it was observed that more than half of the assessments demonstrated pen stocking that was not compliant with ASEL requirements. When this was brought up at discussions animals were moved accordingly.

Personnel

The head stockperson who accompanied this voyage was skilled and well respected. The other stockpersons who accompanied this voyage were experienced and actively managed welfare of the stock. All five stockpersons demonstrated a high level of commitment to animal health and welfare and worked well with the bosun and his team to ensure adequate feed was made available to livestock in sick pens or those separated as shy feeders.

The vessel officers and crew demonstrated concern with animal welfare.

Daily routine

A meeting was held at 10:00am every day and was attended by the master, Chief Officer (CO), chief engineer, bosun, stockpersons and observer. Everyone was given an opportunity to contribute and discuss issues.

Each stockperson was pre-assigned a cohort of animals to manage.  The stockpersons undertook inspections of the animals at least twice a day, recorded mortalities, administered treatments and reported to the head stockperson at the daily meetings. The stockpersons determined the need for any dietary or feeding regime change and provided these instructions to the bosun.

The crew worked under the supervision of the bosun. They manually carried feed from small bulk silos in tubs or bags to fill the troughs. They kept water troughs clean, kept laneways clear and washed decks when required.

Two night watch officers were assigned from the vessel’s crew and their main responsibility was to detect issues such as injured animals, water leakages or electrical problems.

Feed and water

A large feed was provided to animals at 07:00am and was followed with water trough cleaning. Top up feed was provided at 10:00am and 1:00pm to empty troughs. At 2:00pm the second large feed of the day was provided to all animals.

Transfer of feed from the three bulk silos at the rear of the vessel to four secondary silos (two each on port and starboard sides) on each deck is remotely controlled by the CO. The feeding was done manually by the crew and supervised by the bosun. Feed was accessed from the secondary silos.

Chaff was mixed with pellets for animals in the hospital pens, for shy feeders, and for the sheep.

It was generally observed that feed trough always had feed in it, indicating an ad lib feed regime was used.

There were three feeding troughs (1m each) per pen for 12-17 cattle, depending on sizes. This was sufficient for the livestock. The crew discarded any troughs with powdered pellets and cleaned those with faecal matter in it.

Water was provided via an automatic float valve to troughs. The water was observed to be clear and clean. Troughs were regularly cleaned using fine netting or replaced if polluted with too much dirt or faeces.

There was adequate, good quality feed and water available at all times.

Ventilation

The vessel has an excellent ventilation system, supported by ancillary fans and ducted PVC pipes to cover dead spots in various areas of the cargo hold.

The 5 upper level decks also had either side discharge doors or front and back exit doors open when it was not raining to allow further air movement. This further helped with overall cooling and air circulation on the upper decks.

Pen conditions

The deck flooring has non-slip surface on it with additional sawdust put on prior to animals being loaded.

Sawdust was stored in empty pens on some of the decks. It was used sparingly after deck washes and extensively on the ramps and marshalling area during discharge.

The first deck wash for the cattle loaded at Fremantle was conducted on day nine. The second deck wash was conducted on day 14. Washing consisted of the floor areas only with no shooting of water above the lower legs. No issues related to health and welfare associated with pen conditions were noted.

Health and welfare

Overall the voyage had an acceptable outcome in terms of animal health and welfare.

There were 5 cattle mortalities. Three of the cattle were euthanized due to injuries, one was euthanized due to uterine prolapse, and one was undiagnosed. The heifer euthanized due to uterine prolapse was determined by the observer to be approximately five months pregnant and therefore non-compliant with the ASEL requirements.

Of the 33 sheep mortalities, most were attributed to gastrointestinal issues including enteritis, inanition, bloat and diarrhoea.

Discharge

The master was concerned about animal welfare and cattle discharge during periods of low tide when the ramp became steep and dangerous for cattle. The master and CO intervened and made the decision to stop cattle discharges during low tide until it was safe to continue.

Conclusion

The exporter arrangements were observed to be implemented during the voyage.






Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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