Report 115: MV Girolando Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in April 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in April 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,848 cattle were loaded onto the MV Girolando Express at the Port of Darwin on 20 April 2019. The vessel departed on 20 April 2019. The cattle were discharged from the vessel at the Port of Panjang, Indonesia between 25 and 26 April 2019, making this a 6 day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for cattle was 0.03% (1 mortality). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The causes of this mortality was not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.

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

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

Exporter documentation

Exporter arrangements were available to address procedures relating to livestock management from loading through to discharge, including contingencies.


All cattle were loaded as per the load plan. No issues were identified during loading.


The LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) who accompanied the voyage had 17 years of experience working on livestock vessels and was extremely professional at all times.

The stockperson’s relationship with the crew was excellent. The stockperson attended to all requests immediately and gave positive feedback to the master and the Chief Office (CO) about the crew.

Daily routine

Management meetings were held each day at 10:00am and were attended by the stockperson, CO and bosun. At the meeting the stockperson discussed the list of feed adjustments for the day and reminded the crew of the need to constantly check the water bowls for cleanliness and functionality. Other topics discussed included the condition of animals in the hospital pens, the daily temperature and humidity reports and the feed and water consumption levels.

Night watch shifts ran in four hour blocks, 8:00pm – 12:00am and 12:00am - 04:00am.

Feed and water

Animals were observed to feed well and have good access to food and clean water at all times. Water troughs were observed being cleaned regularly.


The ventilation was excellent throughout the voyage and there were no signs of heat stress in the cattle. The observer noted all air vents were directed into the pens and not into laneways.

The CO took temperature and humidity readings every morning. The average dry bulb temperature for the voyage was 31ᵒC and the average wet bulb temperature for the voyage was 28ᵒC. The average humidity for the voyage was 79%.

Pen conditions

The pen densities complied with the load plan and the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) requirements. Spot checks were carried out on a daily basis and all checks matched the load plan.

Deck washout or pad maintenance were not required due to the short duration of the voyage and the flooring in the pens and laneways was observed to be in good condition.

Health and welfare

The shy feeders and animals with swollen limbs were given extra attention by the stockperson and crew and all issues were managed in accordance with the exporter’s approved export program.

During the voyage, an animal was observed lying down and unable to stand. The stockperson took immediate action and destocked the pen, allowing the recumbent animal to have additional space. The stockperson organised a separate water trough and feed for this animal and ensured that the animal was continually monitored. The animal did not show any signs of improvement so the decision was made to euthanize it. A post-mortem was performed, and the stockperson ruled the cause of death as pneumonia.


There were no issues identified during the discharge.


The observer noted the stockperson and the crew worked hard in ensuring the health and welfare of the livestock during the voyage.

The exporter arrangements were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with ASEL requirements.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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