Report 14: MV Jawan - Cattle exported to Indonesia in August 2018

Independent Observer summary report on MV Jawan

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Voyage summary

The MV Jawan has eight decks, five open (upper) and three enclosed (lower).

The Jawan departed Broome, Western Australia on 6 August 2018 with 6 342 feeder cattle destined for Panjang, Indonesia. The vessel carried cattle for two consignments for two exporters.

The voyage completed discharge on 12 August 2018, making this a seven day voyage.

The Independent Observer (IO) joined the vessel in Broome.

The overall mortality rate for the voyage was 0.06 per cent (four mortalities). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate of 0.5 per cent for cattle on a voyage of less than 10 days. The causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure on behalf of the exporter.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations from the IO from loading in Broome, until discharge in Panjang, Indonesia.  The summary has been approved by the IO who accompanied this voyage.

Implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock

Exporter documentation

Due to the destination, no Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) was required.

Loading

The health and welfare of animals was maintained during the loading process. One steer suffered a broken leg during loading and was euthanised as soon as possible on the vessel.

The cattle appeared to be loaded onto the vessel in accordance with the load plan, and were spread out in the first few days to ensure livestock pen densities were satisfactory. Following this, it was observed that generally half of the cattle could lie down at any one time. Adjustments were made across the vessel after sailing allowing cattle to spread out and have access to several water and feed troughs.

Personnel

An experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stock people) accompanied each consignment who were responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage, through to completion of discharge.

The Master, Chief Officer (CO) and Bosun all had extensive experience on livestock vessels, and while the 16 livestock crew had varying levels of experience, they were well managed by senior officers.

Daily routine

Daily meetings were held each morning with the Master, the CO, stock people and the IO to discuss any issues relating to stock management and welfare.

The livestock crew began morning feeding, watering and cleaning around 7:00am, with all deck crew on hand (two per deck). Feeding was completed first, followed by refreshing water, and then general cleaning duties (e.g. sweeping of walkways). This routine was repeated at around 3.00pm. A night watchperson was on deck between 10.00pm and 5.00am, walking the decks cleaning water troughs and checking for any issues with the livestock or livestock systems.

Feed and water

All livestock appeared to be able to access feed and water troughs freely for the entire voyage. The vessel’s automatic feeding system allowed bulk fodder to be loaded then distributed to troughs by gravity. High quality Australian fodder pellets and bagged chaff were loaded in Broome and the majority of cattle had been fed similar fodder at a feedlot prior to being loaded. As the voyage progressed, water and fodder consumption increased as cattle adjusted to being at sea. By the end of the voyage, the cattle were being fed four times a day.

The Jawan produces fresh water through reverse osmosis desalination plants. The water being supplied to the cattle appeared to be of a high quality, and they did not hesitate to drink it. Dry troughs were observed in the morning on several occasions, however for no more than 15 minutes. This occurred where the feeding crew observed a soiled water trough and turned it off until the watering crew came to clean the trough and turn it back on. The majority of the time the troughs were full of clean fresh water, which all cattle could access.

Ventilation

No issues noted by the IO.

Pen conditions

Pad condition was always discussed at the daily meeting. Deck wash down was not performed during the voyage as it was only six days, and as the voyage progressed the pad improved. Old fodder which was not consumed was emptied into the pens along with sawdust to absorb moisture. Pens remained dry for the most part and appeared acceptable. Where a pen became wet due to a water leak or spillage, the stock people requested crew apply sawdust to rectify the problem.

Health and welfare

The crew and stock people managed the health and welfare of animals well, and animals requiring treatment or euthanasia were cared for appropriately.

All eight hospital pens were empty at the start of the voyage. On day two of the voyage, two hospital pens where used to give adjacent pens more space. The other six hospital pens were kept empty for the entire voyage. Animals requiring treatment were not always moved to hospital pens as the stock people felt moving and isolating them would cause additional stress. One animal treated for diarrhoea was isolated for treatments by moving pen mates into adjacent pens. The stock people advised if an animal had an open wound it would be moved to a hospital pen for treatment as it would be a more sterile environment.

Discharge

All elements of discharge were conducted with the health and welfare of the animals in mind.

Other

Maximum temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius (dry bulb) and 23 degrees Celsius (wet bulb), with humidity reaching 80 per cent. The IO noted a difference between the open and closed decks, however stated no deck felt oppressive at any point. The lower (enclosed) decks were well ventilated and the upper open decks felt comfortable at all times, and the mobile thermometer carried consistently read within one degree of the vessel’s fixed thermometers. The temperature and humidity reading on the upper decks was always consistent with the reported readings. The lower decks were cooler and less humid than the outside reading.

Conclusion

The IO determined that the relevant procedures relating to the management of livestock exported by sea were consistent with ASEL.

Animal welfare was always the paramount concern of the stock people, CO and Bosun. The animals were provided quality feed and water, and had appropriate access to it. The ventilation seemed adequate, and the temperatures were not an issue for cattle coming out of northern Western Australia which are acclimatised to the heat.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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