Report 139: MV Gudali Express - Cattle and Buffalo exported to Indonesia in June 2019

Cattle and Buffalo exported to Indonesia in June 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,052 cattle and 294 buffalo was loaded onto the MV Gudali Express at the Port of Darwin on 6 June 2019 and departed on the same day. The cattle and buffalo were discharged at the Port of Belawan, Indonesia, between 12 June and 14 June 2019, making this a 9-day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.03% (1 mortality) and 0.34% for buffalo (1 mortality) which do not exceed the reportable mortality rates. The causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.

The following comments are 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.


No issues were observed during loading. Sawdust was applied to ramps and lane ways. Pens were loaded in accordance or excess of Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock 2011 (version 2.3) (ASEL). The observer noted that 100% of animals in some of the pens were observed to be lying down at one time. Through-out the voyage animals were moved around in order to provide them with more pen space.


Two experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockpersons (stockperson) on-board the vessel were responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage. The stockpersons were thorough in their approach to livestock management and worked well with the vessels officers and crew. The observer noted that animal welfare was the first and foremost consideration during the voyage.

Daily routine

Feeding began at 7:00am each morning. A management meeting was held at 10:00am each day and was attended by the master, Chief Officer (CO), bosun, stockperson and the observer. Topics discussed included feeding and any issues that arose in the 24 hours prior.

Subsequent feeds were provided at 10:30am, 1:30pm and 6:30pm.

Night watch shifts were carried out from 6:00pm until 6:00am. 

Feed and water

Fodder was delivered to each deck via chutes and then transported to troughs manually using 45kg bags.

The livestock were fed 4 times per day. Two lines of cattle were identified as not adapting to the pellet ration as well as other animals. Chaff was added to the pellet ration in these lines order to encourage fodder consumption.

Water was provided through 2 water nose bowls and 1 manually filled water trough in each pen. 


Ventilation was effective during the voyage with no hot spots identified on-board. Hatches on Deck 5 were also opened during the voyage to further improve ventilation. Temperatures were taken between 9:30am and 10:00am on all decks. There were no heat stress symptoms observed during the voyage.

Pen conditions

Pen condition were acceptable during the voyage. Sawdust and wood shaving were added as required to manage pen condition. No deck washes were undertaken due to the short duration of the voyage.  

Health and welfare

Feed and water consumption increased throughout the voyage. The Stockperson and crew were observed to implement good animal handling and management practices. Treatments were carried out promptly. The observer did not note any issues with regard to animal health and welfare.

There were two mortalities on this voyage, one buffalo was humanely euthanased after it sustained a fractured foreleg possibly from being trampled or kicked by another animal in the pen. The second mortality was due to an infection from an injured leg that did not respond to treatment so the animal was humanely euthanased.

During the voyage 15 animals received treatment for lameness or minor injuries.


Sawdust was applied to ramps and lane ways during discharge. Truck availability and the reluctance of the buffalo to enter the ramp contributed to a longer than usual discharge. This did not negatively impact on the health or welfare of the livestock. The livestock were fed, watered and monitored throughout the discharge process.


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

Last reviewed: 23 January 2020
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